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ESPN, Rose Bowl reach 12-year contract extension

ESPN will continue to broadcast the Rose Bowl through 2026. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

One day after a four-team football playoff was approved, ESPN locked down the most historic bowl there is.

The Rose Bowl, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten reached a 12-year contract extension with ESPN on Thursday for the network to continue broadcasting "The Granddaddy of Them All" through 2026, according to an ESPN press release.

The game will be played at 5 p.m. on January 1 every year, unless it's a Sunday, in which case the game would be on the 2nd.

No matter the post-season rotation of bowls for the upcoming playoff three-bowl, four-team playoff, ESPN owns the rights to the Rose Bowl each year. Since 1989, either ESPN or ABC has carried the bowl.

SI.com writer Stewart Mandel chronicled the 66-year journey of a college football playoff, and Andy Staples wrote on how the joyous day was long overdue.
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