ESPN inks 12-year broadcast deal with Sugar Bowl


Now that the Sugar Bowl has added a Big 12 tie-in for the next 12 years as part of college football’s playoff rotation, it’s inked the broadcast rights for the game as well.

As expected, the Sugar Bowl will be seen on the World Wide Leader. ESPN announced a 12-year agreement with the Big 12 and SEC beginning in Jan., 2015 — the first year of the “new” Sugar Bowl in the playoff format.

Per the release, “ESPN will have the rights to the Sugar Bowl each year no matter what is determined to be the exact post-season bowl rotation as part of the future format.” ESPN already has the broadcast rights to the Rose Bowl between the Big Ten and Pac-12 through 2026. Both the Rose and Sugar Bowls will reportedly have a payout of $80 million annually.

The Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls will be part of the six access bowls rotating as semifinal sites in college football’s new playoff format; it’s expected that the Chick-fil-A, Cotton and Fiesta bowls will also be part of that rotation, but host at-large teams. The Orange Bowl has its conference tie-ins — featuring teams from the ACC and either the Big Ten, Notre Dame or SEC — so there’s a good chance ESPN will announce an agreement with the Orange Bowl next. When? TBD.

But with playoff pieces falling into place, expect ESPN to have a major, if not outright, role in the broadcast portion of the new postseason.