College Football Playoff Jan 10, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; The College Football Playoff National Championship trophy at CFP Champions press conference at Los Angeles Airport Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey made himself a target on Thursday after making a very interesting statement.

Sankey joined ‘The Paul Finebaum Show’ and the SEC commissioner discussed NIL with the popular radio personality. It’s Sankey’s comments that have made them the center of attention, and those comments are a bit curious and misguided… at best.

“And I know that the [NIL] problems may not manifest themselves in attendance and TV ratings right now,” Sankey said via Pete Nakos of On3. “Keep in mind that TV ratings are at a time when there have been a set of strikes that doesn’t provide a lot of new programming outside of sports.”

If you’re left scratching your head after reading that, don’t be alarmed: You probably should have scratched your head a couple times. Sankey’s statement reads ridiculously and ludicrously when you take numerous factors into account.

First of all, the SAG-AFTRA strike isn’t really affecting college football TV viewership. There are no notable Saturday afternoon, evening, or primetime programs that would normally be affected by college football. Kind of because… well, traditionally, football runs the local networks on Saturdays. There’s a reason that Sundays are traditionally loaded up on television… after the NFL games.

Secondly, ratings are up almost entirely across the board. We know that Sankey is the SEC Commissioner, but he’s aware that Colorado has been a ratings boon for the sport, right?

Can you imagine telling someone to pump the brakes over the last few weeks on the Deion Sanders hype train… because of NIL?

Silly really isn’t even the word for this take. Especially when you consider the third bullet point: It’s Greg Sankey’s job to package and present the SEC to its TV providers. The conference signed a lucrative deal with ESPN and left their coveted ‘SEC on CBS’ timeslot early to engage with ESPN.

So now, because NIL exists, it’s going to affect TV ratings? And the increases and successes in TV ratings for the sport mean nothing? We should slow down because of the writers’ strike? Deeming this as anything less than bogus would probably be too nice.

The CFB world took turns blasting Sankey for his ludicrous NIL comments.


[Pete Nakos]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022