SBD: ESPN Close to Deal For College Football Playoff


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)

  • Nathan Douglas Johnson III

    I know Im a late on this, but in this 12 year deal can ESPN partner with ABC in letting them telecast some of these playoff games just like March Madness does with Turner sports/CBS?

    • Paulsen

      Not sure if ESPN has the option to do so — but even if they did I doubt they would move any games to ABC.