Based on a December 26, 2014 article in USA Today entitled “Bowl Game Attendance on Decline But TV Interest Grows,” author Brent Schrotenboer states, “Even though ticket demand is relatively low for lesser bowls, an incredible number of viewers keep watching, even if oahu is the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., a game title that drew just 20,256 fans the other day but attracted a typical television audience of 1,114,000, in accordance with ESPN.”
Schrotenboer goes on to say, “Only one bowl game last year drew fewer than 1.2 million viewers normally, in accordance with Nielsen. That’s better compared to the 1.1 million who watched an opening day baseball game last year involving the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Nationally broadcast regular season baseball games in 2012 and 2013 averaged about 680,000 viewers.”
Is it possible to imagine then the following scenario for the college football bowl season:
ESPN builds its own television studio strictly for the objective of hosting college bowl games. The tv screen network already owns and operates 11 bowl games. In that way, it doesn’t have middleman to cope with for these additional events, eliminating having to negotiate with a different facility to host the game. No costs for having to drive production trailers or fly technical crews halfway throughout the country.
Because this facility would be built as a tv studio and not being an outdoor multipurpose arena, ESPN could make attending the bowl game a true multimedia how to watch super bowl without cable for the fan, with special effects like lasers. lights and smoke. The network could ensure the bowl experience for the live attendee in addition to the tv screen viewer to be unlike any other.
But here’s the catch: the ESPN studio could have just a limited amount of seats, say 5,000 or less, which would minimize construction costs. The studio wouldn’t need to be much larger than the common college football program’s practice facility. Just big enough to exhibit to the million plus viewers there are actually some fans in the stands. Thus, there wouldn’t be considered a single bad seat in the house. You’d rest assured an up-close and personal bowl experience. And due to the intimate atmosphere, the sounds from the fans would reverberate through the entire facility.
Due to the limited way to obtain seats, this would force ticket demand (and prices) up. No more 60,000- or 80,000-seat facilities which can be less than a quarter full. It would be a 180-degree differ from the current experience, where many schools need to count on daily deal sites to simply help unload their share of allocated tickets.
Thus, the universities would benefit simply because they wouldn’t be required to buy the thousands of tickets which they cannot sell (even on Groupon).
ESPN could utilize this facility multiple times through the expanse of the two- to three-week bowl period.
As an example, in 2010 five additional college football teams qualified for a bowl that they were not invited to. That’s two additional games that the schools and network are not generating an incredible number of dollars from, forcing television viewers to instead watch sitcom reruns when they’d much rather be enjoying a live sporting event. And advertisers would prefer to be buying time on a tv program that a lot of viewers will watch live and can’t fast-forward through their commercials.