The College Football Playoff is under pressure to rearrange its schedule, according to reports from Sports Business Journal's John Ourand and Michael Smith and USA Today's George Schroeder. ESPN is reportedly lobbying the CFP to move next season's semifinals, which are currently scheduled for New Year's Eve, to Jan. 2, with the rationale being they don't want the games to compete against the New Year's countdown shows on various TV networks.
Another potential conflict could come in the form of expanded NFL playoffs. The NFL is voting in March on whether to include another two wild card teams, and the added games could potentially include one on the Monday night of the College Football Playoff Championship. The first CFP Championship Game this year set a cable ratings record at approximately 33 million viewers, but direct competition from an NFL playoff game would undoubtedly bring that number down.
The College Football Playoff contract stipulates that the title game will be played on a Monday night, a night free of other competition due to the NFL's regular season being over and the lack of Monday night playoff games. Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said that the Playoff management committee -- the nine conference commissioners plus Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick -- are resistent to moving the 2015-16 games.
"I think it would be terrible for the fans," Hancock said. "The day we announced the Playoff back in June of 2012, we announced the championship game would be on Monday nights. We picked that night because 'Monday Night Football' was over and there wouldn't be a conflict. And obviously after this year's success, we just think that Monday night is perfect for college football. I just would hate to see the fans have to choose."