Programming

ESPN Reaches 12-Year Deal for New College Football Playoff

New playoff system to begin with 2014-15 season 11/21/2012 01:03:53 PM Eastern

As expected, ESPN has reached a 12-year agreement to be the exclusive broadcaster for the upcoming college football playoff system, which begins with the 2014-15 season.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but published reports say it will be for around $500 million per year.

With the net's recent deals for the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, ESPN will hold the media rights for all games that will be involved with the new playoff. The agreement begins January 2015 and runs through the 2025 season and January 2026 bowl games.

Per the agreement, ESPN receives rights to the Championship, Semifinals and additional bowl games. The two semifinal games will rotate each year among six bowl games, consisting of three "contract bowls" and three "host bowls," which will be determined by commissioners. The Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls are considered "contract bowls." The additional bowl games would consist of the remaining "host bowl" games that were not selected to host semifinals.

ESPN also gains rights to any related programming, including the official team-selection announcement.

"Because of college football's widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games," said John Skipper, president, ESPN and cochair, Disney Media Networks. "We are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue to crown a college football champion on ESPN's outlets for years to come, the perfect finale to our year-round commitment to the sport."

ESPN would feature the games on ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox LIVE via WatchESPN. Additionally, ESPN would have the rights to distribute the matchups on ESPN 3D, ESPN Deportes and around the world via ESPN International.

The new playoff will be administered by the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences and independent institutions.

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