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ESPN reaches 12-year agreement to broadcast college football playoff

ESPN has officially acquired the rights to broadcast NCAA football playoff games beginning after the 2014 regular season, according to multiple reports.

The 12-year agreement will continue through the 2025 regular season, including January 2026. It includes the national championship games, semifinals and other bowl games and, combined with current deals for the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, gives ESPN rights to all games involved in the new postseason format.

ESPN Media Zone provided the specific details of the agreement, which industry sources told the Sports Business Journal is worth about $500 million per year for a total of $7.3 billion:

Championship Games: Coverage of each year’s championship game pitting the semifinal winners against each other on the Monday at least seven days after the semifinals at sites to be determined by the commissioners

Semifinals: Coverage of two semifinals each year matching four seeded teams identified by a selection committee to be named by the commissioners. The semifinals will be rotated among six bowl games consisting of three “contract bowls” and three “host bowls” to be determined by the commissioners.

Additional bowls in the playoff format: Coverage of all remaining games from the sites of the three “host bowls” during the years those bowls are not semifinal sites. Note: ESPN had previously secured the rights to the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowl games for the same 12-year period (through January 2026).

Related programming: Exclusive rights to branded content throughout each season, including the official team-selection announcement.
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