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Business Lessons From The 2015 College Football Playoffs

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Lessons From The Grid Iron

Lessons From The Grid Iron

NCAA football crowned a champion last week and I learned a lesson from it that I would like to share with you. I actually learned nothing from the Championship game but rather, the process that got the two teams to the big game.

The business lesson I learned was from the decision to play the two semi-final games on New Year’s Eve. I thought this was a poor choice of time and date and ESPN agreed.  ESPN warned them that ratings would suffer since a 4 O’clock game would interfere with people who were working a full day on New Year’s Eve. The second game at 8 o’clock would be equally as bad since many people have other traditions and activities to pursue on New Year’s Eve. A college football game is not one of them even if it was a semi-final game. ESPN was right about the ratings. They were down as much as 35% from the previous year.

I don’t know much about the TV ratings game or how advertising works but if ratings stay low this will be bad for the Bowl committees involved (less money) and they will eventually adjust their thinking. The lesson to be learned is not so much about choosing when to air a football game as it is how you treat your customers. I am sure the Bowl committees had reasons why they stuck to their guns on the game times they wanted but it appears that their reasons were not aligned with the interests of their customers.

The reason the Bowl committees have billion dollar TV contracts is because the customers pay the bill. If you upset your customers too often for too long no matter how good the product, they will make other choices. They also need to consider their broadcast partners who write the billion dollar checks. They need to remember that people buy from people who they like, trust, and with whom it is convenient to do business. College football games on New Year’s Eve are not convenient for most people.

Have a great week watching your new favorite sport.

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Written by pacelinebiz

January 18, 2016 at 8:01 am

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