ESPN’s Influence in College Football

by Rachel Baker on August 25, 2013

The college football season starts this week. Who is the biggest named player at any of the big games this weekend? Why, that would be ESPN.

Far beyond televising games, ESPN has become the chief impresario of college football. By infusing the sport with billions of dollars it pays for television rights — more than $10 billion on college football in the last five years alone — ESPN has become both puppet-master and kingmaker, arranging games, setting schedules and bestowing the gift of nationwide exposure on its chosen universities, players and coaches.

The money and programming focused on college football by ESPN, as well as its competitors, have transformed the game, creating professionalized sports empires in the midst of academic institutions.

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