ESPN’s 12-year TV extension with the Rose Bowl and its conference tie-ins (Big Ten and Pac-12) is said to be worth $80 million annually. The only other postseason/alternating semifinal game expected to come close to that kind of payout was the yet-to-officially-be-named Champions Bowl between the Big 12 and SEC conference champions.
That’s reportedly come to fruition. The Sports Business Daily reports Monday morning that the Champions Bowl will also receive $80 million annually from its new broadcast partner, ESPN, through 2026. During Big 12 media days last week, commissioner Bob Bowlsby (pictured) said he anticipated TV rights and hosting site details to be ironed out in the next several weeks.
The news means the WWL would have broadcast rights for two major postseason games, and is “closing in” on the rights for the three-game playoff package. ESPN will also have a good shot at the Orange Bowl. Talks between the ACC and Notre Dame on the Irish becoming a tie-in opponent have already taken place.
As for Champions Bowl site bidding? That should be starting in earnest, and multiple reports indicate that Dallas is the favorite to land the game. In that case, it would almost certainly take on the Cotton Bowl title.