ESPN locks down Rose Bowl rights through 2026 — or 14 years beyond the Mayan calendar

It’s not really a coincidence that just a couple of days after the new college football playoff system format was announced, a 12-year TV rights extension for ESPN and the Rose Bowl was announced, carrying things through 2026.

The current deal runs through the 2014 BCS title game at the Rose Bowl and will be the last under the present system, coming a couple of weeks after the Jan. 1, 2014 Rose Bowl game. The extension guarantees the network of having meaningful games with title ramifications for years to come, no matter how the upcoming four-team playoff structure falls into place.

There were no financial terms released.

“As we usher in the new era of a college football playoff, it is gratifying to know that the Rose Bowl will continue to be the premier bowl game in college football,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “With the signing of this landmark long-term broadcast agreement with ESPN, the history, tradition and success of the Rose Bowl game will be assured for many years to come.”

The deal also means the Rose Bowl game will stay on Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. (or Jan. 2 when New Year’s Day is on a Sunday) and features the champions of the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

ABC and ESPN have had the Rose Bowl rights since 1989 after a long run on NBC.
“The Rose Bowl Game is one of sport’s most meaningful and celebrated events,” ESPN president John Skipper said. “Extending our relationship long term with such a prestigious brand will play a significant role in the way fans continue to define ESPN.”

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