Disney Has a Near-Monopoly on Bowl Games This Year.

Does it seem that almost every bowl game is on ESPN?  That’s because almost every bowl game *is* on ESPN. There are 35 bowl games.  32 will be on an ESPN network whereas CBS, FOX, and ABC will have one each.  Given that ABC and ESPN have the same parent company, Disney, Disney will have 33 of 35 games on one of its networks.  For industrial organization fans, that’s a Herfindahl-Hirschmann Index of  8384 if ABC and ESPN are considered separate firms and 8906 if they are considered the same firm.  An HHI of 10,000 is 100% monopolized.  Dang.

HT Craig Depken

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Author: Phil Miller

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economics, NCAA

2 thoughts on “Disney Has a Near-Monopoly on Bowl Games This Year.”

  1. Pretty crazy number, I suppose CBS and FOX are willing to bid on other sports, probably based off the past viewership of these bowl games. Think about the CFB regular season and how many games CBS actually broadcasts relative to Disney networks. Maybe CBS is just better off spending their money elsewhere…

  2. I think your application of the index overstates the impact of the monopoly here. It makes the assumption that each of the 35 bowl games are equal pieces of the market. I think many would be willing to argue that if we were looking at the “market” of bowl games, the Independence Bowl and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl are not nearly as big of a chunk of it than the Fiesta Bowl.

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