The organization behind the dates for the College Football Playoffs have been standing firmly in defense of the dates that they selected for next season’s semi-finals and and finals despite resistance from both ESPN and the NFL in order because they believe the dates will result in lower ratings.
“We completely support the New Year’s scheduling connections for the College Football Playoff throughout our 12-year agreement,” an ESPN spokesperson said in a statement. “For the one year in 2017 when the calendar falls a certain way, the idea was to consider moving the games from Thursday, Dec. 31 to Saturday, Jan. 2 to allow for a more accessible, fan-and participant-friendly experience for all. It’s strictly a one-year concept.”
The point of view from ESPN is a very understandable one, as they own the rights to both the College Football Playoffs and Monday Night Football, and they would prefer to maximize their potential ratings for the amount of football being showed that week.
Those responsible for scheduling the College Football Playoffs are sticking with the formula that college football has been following for years. The standard at this point is to have the final major bowl games take place on New Year’s Day, while the National Championship game would be held the Monday afterward.
“We understand and appreciate their interest in this,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a prepared statement. “The fact is that we have started a new tradition of back-to-back tripleheaders on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. We’re not interested in changing for one year, then returning for the next 10. This event has been very well received and we are excited about the future and about enhancing the concept of a ‘holiday within a holiday’ on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”
The NFL will likely fight to keep Monday Night Football unimpeded, but only time will tell.