College Football Playoff Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; A general view of the College Football Playoff logo on a case on the Washington Huskies sideline before the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game between the Texas Longhorns and the Washington Huskies at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

With the College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams in 2024, there will be more games for potential media partners to vacuum up (while, of course, paying multiple millions of dollars for the privilege).

Fox Sports has long been linked to a bid for Playoff rights, and on Wednesday, Front Office Sports reported that Fox is “weighing a massive bid” for some or all of the Playoff. The full Playoff package won’t be up for grabs until 2026.

Just about every network, including Fox and incumbent ESPN, has been rumored to be in the mix for Playoff rights. Tech companies have been mentioned. NBC has been mentioned. Warner Bros. Discovery has been mentioned.

Despite those links, ESPN is still considered the favorite to retain the Playoff’s rights. With multiple reports over the months claiming the Playoff is seeking multiple media partners in the deal, however, it seems a bit unlikely that ESPN would be able to acquire the full slate of first-round games while also retaining the later rounds – and it seems just as unlikely that Fox would be able to tempt the Playoff with enough money to take the entire thing.

ESPN is currently in the midst of a 12-year deal for the Playoff, paying an estimated $470 million per year. The expanded Playoff will cost a lot more than that, due to not just the extra games, but the increased amount of bidders that will drive up the cost for everyone.

[Front Office Sports]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.