Incumbent BCS rightsholder ESPN is reportedly close to acquiring the new college football playoff, according to The Sporting News.
Citing a “BCS source,” The Sporting News reported Wednesday that ESPN is “closing in” on the entire television package for the new college football playoff.
ESPN currently has rights to the Bowl Championship Series through the 2013-14 season. The new playoff system will begin in the 2014-15 season.
Keep in mind that the college football playoff package will not necessarily include all of the games. Several of bowls that could potentially host semifinal games will negotiate their own television deals.
Sports Business Journal reported earlier this week that a playoff package would not include the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, or the new ‘Champions’ Bowl, all of which either have signed or will sign separate television deals. ESPN has already acquired rights to the Rose Bowl through the 2026 season.
While Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has already publicly said that it would be “pretty simple if ESPN buys everything,” the network will certainly have competition. Sports Business Journal reported that Fox Sports, which held rights to the BCS from 2007-10, will join ESPN as a serious bidder for playoff rights.