Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh hopes players will get a share of CFP revenue

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh hopes players will get a share of the money generated by a college football playoff extension.

“I think the players should get a share of the revenue from the huge TV deals that have been done,” Harbaugh said Monday during his weekly press conference outside Wolverines’ eighth host Hawaii.

The plan to expand the four-team CFP was approved on Friday, and the new tournament will begin as early as 2024 and no later than 2026.

“Awesome,” said Harbaugh. “All for that.”

An 11-game championship slice could be worth up to $2 billion in media rights to conferences that play major college football, beginning in 2026. If the new format begins before the current 12-year contract with ESPN, the conferences could make an additional $450 million over the past two years. The current deal that ends after the 2025 season brings in around $470 million a year.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock said ESPN will get the first offer on any new playoff inventory added in 2024 and 2025. After 2025, there are no more playoff TV deals. The plan is to bring the new format to the open market and possibly involve multiple TV partners instead of just ESPN.

In the new playoff format, six of the top-ranked conference champions and six overall selections from the selection committee will earn a spot. The top four seeds would be the conference champions, receiving byes to the second round. First-round matches would be played on campuses and the rest at bowling venues.

The CFP management committee, which includes conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, is scheduled to meet Thursday in Dallas. Game dates, venues, available television windows and the impact on the regular season schedule are among the topics they are called upon to discuss.