College Sports At A Glance

Last Updated on June 5, 2014

Just how big is college sports? Here are some facts at a glance:

  • In 2010, the estimated retail value of college licensed merchandise was $4.3 billion, second only to MLB.
  • With a 17.2 rating, the 2010 BCS National Championship football game was the second highest rated sporting event on TV for the year.
  • College games and events have more total hours of on-air coverage than any other major sport.
  • Over 100 million people attended a college sporting event in 2009, more than any other league.
  • With more than 172 million fans, college sports has the largest fan base of all sports.
  • College sports has more than 77 million female fans, more than any professional sports league.   (Note: College sports’ female fan base is bigger than the entire NASCAR fan base.)
  • College has 17 million fans between the ages of 18 to 24.
  • Over 29 million college sports fans earn more than $100,000 annually.
  • College has a diverse audience, with 57 million fans who self-identify as a minority.

These fascinating facts are courtesy of friend of the site, Andrew Giangola, a VP at IMG College.

IMG College Facts

  • IMG College represents comprehensive media and marketing opportunities across multiple platforms at over 90 colleges and universities, leading conferences, and the NCAA.
  • IMG College/The Collegiate Licensing Company serves as the exclusive licensing agent for more than 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, The Heisman Trophy, and the NCAA.
  • IMG College partners with 39 of the 72 BCS schools and conferences.
  • IMG College manages nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming each year, with over 1,700 affiliates across all networks coast-to-coast.
  • IMG College has programming syndicated in 49 of the top 50 radio markets and Sirius/XM.
  • IMG College manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming each year with over 200 affiliates.
  • IMG College creates activation opportunities at 1,500+ games for game day experiences at football and basketball games.
  • IMG College is the largest publisher of college sports publications and the largest manager of official university athletic websites.

IMG College Quick Stats

  • Total IMG College Multimedia Rights Partners: 97
  • Total IMG College Licensing Partners: 204
  • Total IMG College Audio Broadcasts: 8,875
  • Total IMG College Audio On-Air Hours: 30,000
  • Total IMG College Audio Affiliates: 1,781
  • Total IMG College TV Broadcasts: 2,208
  • Total IMG College TV On-Air Hours: 5,000
  • Total IMG College TV Affiliates: 277
  • Total IMG College Stadium Seating Partners: 40
  • Total IMG College Publications (programs, yearbooks, periodicals): 200+
  • Total IMG College Employee: 700+


  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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  • Matt
    August 11, 2011

    Some of the stats are obvious. If you include all the sports clearly there is going to be a bigger fan base. There are only between 30-32 professional franchises in the 4 ‘major’ sports.