ESPN reaches deal to televise Bowl Championship Series through 2026

Posted: November 25, 2012

ESPN, a division of the Walt Disney Co., has reached an agreement to televise all of the Bowl Championship Series college playoff and championship games through the 2026 football season for about $7.3 billion, or $610 million a year.

The 12-year, 84-game deal announced Wednesday includes the Orange, Sugar, and Rose Bowl games and is part of a recent boom in professional and college sports rights as TV networks seek to secure highly watched games for audiences.

The Inquirer reported on Sunday that ESPN, Fox Sports, Comcast/NBC, Turner, and CBS had agreed over the last 20 months to pay $72.4 billion for the national rights to televise live games well into the next decade.

Sports-rights costs have doubled and tripled because of the popularity of live sports and their strategic value to media companies that face threats from Internet streaming services and that are seeking higher per-subscriber fees from households that buy TV service.

Many warn, though, that the new rights contracts could make TV services prohibitively expensive over the next decade.

ESPN's football deal encompasses seven postseason games a year, beginning with the 2015 college football season.

"Because of college football's widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games," ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement announcing the deal.


Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897, bob.fernandez@phillynews.com.

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