ESPN is close to securing media rights for the entire college football playoff system, with industry sources pegging the new 12-year BCS package at $500 million a year.
That means ESPN would own college football’s postseason for a total of $7.3 billion over 12 years, beginning with the 2014 season. That figure, which averages to around $608 million per year, takes into account the $215 million annual payout ESPN has committed to the “contract” bowls — the Rose presented by Vizio, Champions and Discover Orange — in addition to the playoff package.
While a formal announcement could come at some point this month, industry sources cautioned that the two sides still have some contract details to hammer out. Sources say the TV committee, made up of five commissioners, must ultimately approve the deal before it becomes official. A final version of the contract has not yet gone before the TV committee.
However, sources say ESPN and the BCS commissioners have reached a broad agreement that will keep the games on ESPN, which still has two seasons left on its current deal.
Four years ago, ESPN surprised the sports business with a daring $495 million deal for BCS rights over four years.