There may have been other bidders. But it was going to take some GNP-style amount to beat out ESPN for the new college football playoff system. ESPN has secured rights to
the entire college football playoff system coming into effect in January 2015 as part of a deal running through early 2026.
The deal includes the national title game and semifinals, plus other bowl games. ESPN had already inked separate arrangements with the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls.
ESPN has the rights to offer the games across a slew of platforms, from radio to Xbox Live to ESPN Deportes.
The championship game will be played on a Monday at least seven days after the semifinals. The semifinals will feature four teams selected by a committee and played in bowl games on a rotating basis. ESPN will carry the selection show, where announcements are made about where teams will be playing.
ESPN already holds rights to the college football national championship game under the current BCS format and has made college football one of its pillars. The rights holders acknowledged that ESPN will bring ample attention to the playoffs.
ESPN president John Skipper stated: “We are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue to crown a college football champion on ESPN’s outlets for years to come, the perfect finale to our year-round commitment to the sport.”
ESPN said the two BCS title games it has aired have drawn the two largest audiences in cable history.