Ever since the final ratings for the College Football Playoff semifinals were released and news surfaced that ESPN was negotiating to provide advertisers makegood ads in other events for the low numbers, there are calls for the games to be moved away from New Year’s Eve. But despite that clamoring, CFP executive director Bill Hancock has remained steadfast in his stubborn refusal to even consider moving them to New Year’s Day.

But while Hancock is the front man for the CFP, it’s the conference commissioners and Notre Dame along with Hancock who will make the decision if the games will be moved from New Year’s Eve.

The College Football Playoff is a rotation of six bowls, the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange Peach, Rose and Sugar along with the national championship game. Last year, the semifinals fell on New Year’s Day with the Rose and Sugar serving as the games and ESPN received record ratings. But with the Rose and Sugar refusing to move from their slots, this season’s semifinals moved to New Year’s Eve with the Cotton and Orange and as expected, the ratings fell. And next season, the Peach and Fiesta will be the semifinals and again be held on New Year’s Eve.

And while publicly the College Football Playoff seems bullheaded about the NYE semis, there are a couple of commissioners who may be opening the door just a little bit to perhaps moving the games. There has to be a harmonic convergence for this to happen, but just to have the discussion is good.

According to Heather Dinich at ESPN.com, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey are looking at the numbers and want to see where it leads. Swofford said, “”I think it’s something we do need to take a look at … Whether it will be adjusted down the road, I don’t think that’s imminent by any means, but at the same time we need to take a look at those things and the last thing you want to ever do is to … put your head in the sand and not acknowledge issues that might or can be corrected.”

At least there’s an opening. But the SEC’s Sankey is non-committal, “ Now the comparative to the previous year is down, and that happened in other games. Big point differentials. That’s why I think there’s a learning experience to be had, but there’s a course set, to be clear. I don’t want to equivocate that the focus has been on playing those games on New Year’s Eve.”

The current College Football Playoff system runs through the 2025-26 season, which means we have ten more years with seven more NYE semifinals.

Will we have movement? Right now, we’re stuck with the 12/31 games, but maybe with pressure from the sponsors and even the public, we might see something new down the road.

[ESPN.com]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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