Well, college football is already talking about moving the college football playoff semi-finals. Bill Hancock, the executive director of the college football playoffs, talked about the potential move. “We’re exploring if there’s a better date for the semifinals. We’re thinking about if New Year’s Eve is the way to go,” Hancock said. He also said that the move would happen no sooner than after the 2018 regular season. It is too late to change it for this upcoming season, but after the 2018 regular season is the next time the semi-finals are on New Year’s Eve and that is when the move could happen.
It seemed like before the playoff committee had no interest in moving the playoffs off New Year’s Eve. When asked about in the past they even said that they wanted to build “a new tradition” having playoff games on New Year’s Eve. But now is the first time they have talked publicly abut moving it. And moving it would probably be the smartest thing. This year, the playoffs saw a big drop off in ratings from the year before when they were played on New Year’s Day. This past year’s Orange Bowl semi-final drew a 9.1 rating, which was a 38.5 percent drop from the prior years Rose Bowl semi-final, which had a 14.8 rating. And this past year’s Cotton Bowl semi-final drew a 9.6 rating which was a 36.8 percent drop off from the prior years Sugar Bowl semi-final, which had a 15.2 rating.
Even prior to this past year’s playoff, the committee openly talked about how they knew there would be a ratings drop-off, but they didn’t say it would be because of the games being on New Year’s Eve. They said they were expecting a drop off because the prior years playoff had the perfect storm. It was Jameis Winston against Marcus Mariota and Urban Meyer against Nick Saban. It seemed like they were just preparing for excuses already. But now that they have seen just how much the ratings dropped off, they are admitting having the games on New Year’s Eve might not be a good thing. Nobody wants to spend their New Year’s Eve watching a college football game that won’t end until around 11:30 eastern time, and it would be a good thing if they moved the game to a new date.
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