Canceled bowl games cost ESPN estimated $21.7M

ESPN will lose an estimated $21.7 million in advertising revenue due to the 14 bowl games that have been canceled due to COVID-19 issues, according to a report by Front Office Sports.

The network broadcast 36 of 41 bowl games last season, averaging 5.7 million viewers per game.

Biggest advertising losses for ESPN/ABC

Based on 2019-20 bowl games

  • Pinstripe Bowl, ESPN: $3.1 million
  • Las Vegas Bowl, ABC: $3 million
  • Guaranteed Rate Bowl, ESPN: $2.6 million
  • Quick Lane Bowl, ESPN: $2 million

It continues a difficult year for the company, which has been hit hard since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Subscribers are down 6 percent and the company laid off hundreds of employees earlier this year.

ESPN, College GameDay

Earlier this month, ESPN and the Southeastern Conference announced a 10-year deal beginning in 2024 that will make the network the exclusive rights holder of the league’s football and men’s basketball games.

Though terms were not disclosed, the network’s annual fee is expected to be in the low $300 million range. The SEC currently received $55 million from CBS as part of a deal that was made in 1996. The SEC-CBS contract runs through the 2023 season.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)