Solid read on why there are so many bowl games:
Why TV networks are paying more to cover football games that no one’s attending
This wasn’t an anomaly, either. Between Dec. 17 and 26 — well before the college football playoffs — only one bowl game that ESPN and its Walt Disney Co. DIS, +1.49% sibling networks ABC, ESPN2 and ESPNU aired failed to draw 1 million viewers. Unfortunately for the Miami Beach Bowl, it was aired at 2:25 p.m. on a Monday (Dec. 19) and featured Tulsa pasting Central Michigan 55-10. However, the 794,000 viewers it did draw were still more than The CW could manage for the “Marie Claire Young Women’s Honors” (540,000) that aired that night in prime time. It absolutely does not matter that 15,272 fans (44.9% of Marlins Park’s 34,000 capacity) showed up: Both ESPN and viewers at home got more than they could have hoped for out of the deal.