ESPN Secures Rights to Orange, Sugar Bowls

ESPN took major steps in cornering the television market on the upcoming college football playoff system. Earlier this week, the network signed major deals to the rights of both the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl. ESPN had already previously announced an agreement with the Rose Bowl, as well.
According to Sports Business Journal, ESPN obtained the rights to the Sugar Bowl for $80 million per year and the Orange Bowl for $55 million.
Sugar Bowl
ESPN’s deal for the Sugar Bowl (previously referred to as the Champions Bowl) in New Orleans is a 12-year agreement with the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences.
The agreement, which begins in January 2015 with the inaugural game between the two conference champions, will include rights to the Sugar Bowl across ESPN’s platforms through 2026. Each year, the game will be played January 1 in prime time.
 
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. Those rights include television, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and on smartphones, tablets, online and on Xbox LIVE via WatchESPN. Additionally, ESPN has secured rights to distribute the Sugar Bowl on ESPN 3D and around the world via ESPN International.
“Given the history of excellence by teams in the SEC and Big 12, we recognized the value in securing long-term rights to the Sugar Bowl,” said ESPN president John Skipper. “The matchup will provide college football fans with a memorable way to start the New Year on ESPN’s many platforms.”
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “The matchup between the SEC and the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN creates a new tradition for college football fans on New Year’s Night. We are very excited about this new venture and look forward to competing against the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN.”
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby added, “ESPN has a rich post-season college football history. The long-term commitment of our partners from ESPN, the SEC, and the Sugar Bowl to this game assures its stature as a marquee event among college athletics.”
Orange Bowl
ESPN has reached a 12-year agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the Orange Bowl in South Florida. The agreement, which begins in January 2015, will showcase the Orange Bowl across ESPN’s platforms through 2026. Each year, the game will be played either December 31 or January 1 and feature the conference champion from the ACC against an opponent from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame.
The news was announced today by John Skipper, ESPN President, and ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
 
ESPN will have the rights to the Orange Bowl each year no matter what is determined to be the exact post-season bowl rotation as part of the future format. Those rights include television, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and on smartphones, tablets, online and on Xbox LIVE via WatchESPN. Additionally, ESPN has secured rights to distribute the Orange Bowl on ESPN 3D and around the world via ESPN International.
“A game pitting the ACC champion against the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame ensures a great match up for sports fans,” Skipper said, adding, “The Orange Bowl has a great history and we are very proud to be part of extending that into the next decade.”
 
Swofford said, “We are pleased to have finalized our long-term partnership which brings tremendous exposure and value to the ACC and our member institutions. The opportunity to partner with ESPN to showcase the game on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day provides us with a terrific way for fans to ring in the New Year in South Florida.”
 
Eric Poms, Orange Bowl Committee chief executive officer, added, “Our continued media partnership with ESPN is of great importance to the Discover Orange Bowl property. The worldwide leader in sports brings the optimal platform to annually showcase one of college football’s great traditions.”
 
ESPN had previously announced new 12-year agreements for the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, both of which also begin in 2015.