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ESPN signs deal to carry new playoff


February 19. 2013 6:36PM
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NEW YORK — The college football playoff system will be televised on ESPN for 12 years once it starts after the 2014 season, the network said Wednesday.


The title game will be played on a Monday, at least a week after the semifinals.


The deal is worth about $470 million a year, a person with knowledge of the terms said.


Folks are going to love this playoff and the attention ESPN will give to it, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement.


ESPN's current four-year contract to air the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls along with the BCS title game is worth about $125 million per year.


ESPN will own the rights to all six bowls involved in the four-team playoff system. Conference commissioners had decided that the two semifinals would rotate among those half-dozen sites; the four not involved each year will host major bowl games similar to the current BCS contests. The title game will be bid out each season through a separate process, as the Super Bowl is for the NFL.


There will be three contract bowls that offer automatic bids to particular conferences in years they don't host one of the semifinals: the Rose, Sugar and Orange. The network already had separate deals for the same 12-year period through the 2025 season for those games, which are affiliated with the Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC and SEC.


The new agreement also gives ESPN the rights to the three host bowls, which will feature at-large teams along with the top squad from the group of five conferences without ties to a contract bowl. The sites for the host bowls are still to be determined, though the most likely landing spots are the Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.




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