In news that was widely expected, ESPN will reportedly acquire rights to the full college football playoff.
Sports Business Daily reported Friday that ESPN is close to a 12-year, $500 million/year agreement to carry the remaining portion of the new college football playoff. The package includes 24 of the 36 playoff games from 2015-26 — twelve semifinals and all twelve national championship games.
ESPN had already acquired rights to the Rose Bowl, Sugar* Bowl and Orange Bowl, which account for the other twelve playoff games.
Combined, ESPN will pay $715 million per year for the college football playoff — $80 million for the Rose Bowl, $80 million for the Sugar Bowl, $55 million for the Orange Bowl, and $500 million for the rest.
Currently, ESPN pays $155 million for the Bowl Championship Series ($30 million for the Rose Bowl alone and $125 million for the rest).
If this deal comes to fruition, college football will have gone fifteen years — 2011 to 2026 — without a single BCS or playoff game on network television.
* Previously known as the “Champions” Bowl.
(Friday’s news from Sports Business Daily)