After television ratings slipped last year, the College Football Playoff announced changes to the semifinal scheduling on Thursday.
All future semifinal games will played on Saturdays or holidays. Last year’s semis were played on New Year’s Eve, which fell on a Thursday. Ratings for the first semifinal game were 45% lower than for the previous year and 34.4% lower for the second game.
CFP chairman Bill Hancock acknowledged at SEC media days earlier this month that the committee was weighing whether to continue rotating the semis between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
“We tried to do something special with New Year’s Eve, even when it fell on a weekday,” Hancock said in a statement announcing the change. “But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better. These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much. For these four years, our previous call is reversed.”
The 2021–22 semifinals will be played on New Year’s Eve, which falls on a Friday but will be the federal New Year’s holiday.