ESPN Signs Deal To Carry SEC-Big 12 Champions Bowl For Around $80M Annually
ESPN has signed a deal to air the new Champions Bowl from '15-26 for an average of $80M annually, according to sources cited by Smith & Ourand of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal for the game, which will pit an SEC team against a Big 12 team, is "roughly the same rights fee that ESPN will pay the nearly century-old Rose Bowl." The bowl will be played "in prime time on New Year's Day each of the 12 years of the deal, a slot that typically draws strong ratings and enhances the value of the game." The SEC and Big 12 will "share revenue equally from the ESPN deal, which was jointly negotiated by the two conferences." ESPN's next move is to "go after the Orange Bowl, which would give the network all of the best games on New Year's Day." Once the ACC finalizes a deal for an opponent in that game, which is "expected in the next week or two, the conference will turn its attention to negotiating a TV deal for the Orange Bowl -- and there's every reason to believe that ESPN will be the front-runner there." However, sources said that the ACC "likely will not get the same rights fees" as the Rose and Champions bowls because the "matchup and the time slot aren't as attractive" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/30 issue).