Greg Sankey responds to question of TV networks influencing CFP expansion
Greg Sankey was part of the College Football Playoff working group that recommended expansion to 12 teams with 6 spots for conference champions and 6 at-large bids. Then the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 balked, forming their shortlived alliance. The Big Ten has expanded, signed a massive new media rights deal, and the 12-team model backed by Sankey is now adopted.
Sankey was recently asked about TV partners influencing Playoff expansion. The SEC commissioner said his decisions aren’t affected by ESPN, per David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Other conferences, however, might be letting TV networks tell them how to vote.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on TV’s influence on the expanding playoff: “ESPN has never said to me, ‘Do this or that,’ or, ‘Turn left or right,’ regarding the CFP format, so I assume others must have enormous input and pressure from their media partners.”
— David Paschall (@DavidSPaschall) September 3, 2022
It is widely speculated that the Big Ten’s initial no vote on CFP expansion was to open the door for non-ESPN networks to carry games. We’ll see how the CFP figures out the 12-team model is broadcasted.