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For Media Companies, A Contrarian Idea: College Football’s Cancellation Might be a Good Thing

Author: Steven Zeitchik
Publication: Washington Post

The recent cancellation of the 2020 collegiate football season by the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences has reinforced a belief that has taken hold over the six months of the coronavirus pandemic: Without fall football, networks will be in trouble. The sport is America’s preeminent pastime, and broadcasters have fought bitterly to spend billions on its rights.

Yet a growing number of analysts and insiders are reaching a startling conclusion: While the NFL and its sky-high viewership may be critical to networks as marketers look to unleash their budgets on holiday shoppers, the scrapping of the college Division I football season actually might come with as many silver linings as drawbacks — maybe even more.

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