ESPN has reached a 12-year media rights agreement with the
NCAA's Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences for the Sugar Bowl (which was
previously referred to as the Champions Bowl), giving the network media rights
to two of the bowl games expected to be a part of the forthcoming college
football playoff system. ESPN
agreed to a deal to keep the Rose Bowl back in June.
to reports, ESPN is closing in on securing rights to the entire college
football playoff system, which will begin with the 2014-15 season. The net's
deals with both bowl games begin January 2015.
Rights include television, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and on
smartphones, tablets, online and on Xbox LIVE, via WatchESPN. Additionally,
ESPN will distribute the Sugar Bowl on ESPN 3D and around the world via ESPN
Like the Rose Bowl, ESPN will have the rights to the Sugar Bowl
each year no matter what is determined to be the exact postseason bowl rotation
as part of the future format. As of now, the playoff system would feature six
bowl games. The Sugar Bowl is expected to be one of the bowls that will rotate as a host for a national semifinal game.
The game will take place annually on Jan. 1 from the Mercedes-Benz
Superdome in New Orleans, and will feature the winners of the SEC and Big 12
Conferences. The SEC has taken part in the Sugar Bowl since its inception. If
the SEC or Big 12 champion advances to the national semifinals, each conference
would then provide another team for the Sugar Bowl.
"Given the history of excellence by teams in the SEC
and Big 12, we recognized the value in securing long-term rights to the Sugar
Bowl," said John Skipper, ESPN president and cochair, Disney Media
Networks. "The matchup will provide college football fans with a memorable
way to start the New Year on ESPN's many platforms."