This state of affairs strikes me as both deplorable and unusual. I know lots and lots of people have spent the past two Saturday afternoons Christmas shopping and wouldn't have been home to watch football on television even if it had been available. But surely the market for tv football on early December Saturday afternoons is large enough to warrant showing at least one NCAA or NFL game. What happened?
Have these time slots traditionally belonged to the NCAA? Are those television slots not being used for football now because of the changes put in place when the Bowl Championship Series was initiated? Well, if so, why weren't schedules changed? Surely those are valuable television time slots that could have been filled by someone.
Were the transaction costs too high? Were the property rights poorly defined? What happened?