The College Football Playoff committee has adjusted the game times for three bowls on the 2016 schedule, according toUSA Today.
After struggling to attract viewers to its schedule of New Year’s Eve games in 2015, the committee has moved up the start times of the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl by an hour. The games will now start at 3 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.
Despite the almost 40% drop in viewership in the second year of the playoff, the committee still plans to play the semifinal games on New Year’s Eve.
The Orange Bowl will also see a change in start time, moving from noon on Dec. 31, to a nighttime slot on Dec. 30.
“We looked at the landscape and we’re confident it will let more fans watch the games,” Hancock said. “In looking at the data, we found that ending the games earlier would let people watch the games and still enjoy their New Year’s Eve festivities.”
ESPN, which has broadcasting rights for the College Football Playoff, asked for the New Year’s Eve games to be moved to Jan. 2 for 2015, a move the committee declined to make.
The semifinals are scheduled for New Year’s Eve for seven of the next 10 seasons. The games will be played on New Year’s Day when they are hosted by the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, which already have contractual obligations for that day.