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Sporting News: playoff TV revenue could hit $5 billion

Tomorrow, the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee will vote on a four-team playoff originally proposed by conference commissioners last week. Assuming there aren’t any curveballs -- I like to mix sporting analogies from time to time -- the four-team field will be composed of the “four best teams”, neutral sites will be incorporated into the bowl system and the championship game will be bid out to a neutral site.

The benefit of a four-team playoff -- any college football playoff, really -- is the seemingly limitless potential for TV revenue for America’s second-most popular sport.

Finally, there’s a reported number associated with said potential.

Per Matt Hayes of The Sporting News, and citing a BCS source, a four-team, three-game playoff could generate as much as $5 billion (pictured) over the life of its TV deal -- said to be 10 years. The exact number, Hayes reports, will be determined in part by how the games are sold. In other words, are semifinals and the championship game bundled together or sold separately to bidding networks? How will prices adjust during look-ins? And so on.

The 2011 BCS contract raked in $174 million, so a four-team playoff has the potential to nearly triple that number annually.

It should be noted that a plus-one format will still be discussed by the Presidential Oversight Committee tomorrow, but if the projected revenue from a playoff is anything near what TSN is reporting, expect a plus-one conversation to end as quickly as it begins.