HomeAmerican FootballESPN in talks to extend College Football Playoff rights beyond 2026

ESPN in talks to extend College Football Playoff rights beyond 2026

ESPN in talks to extend College Football Playoff rights beyond 2026

ESPN is reportedly in discussions to prolong its exclusive rights agreement with the College Football Playoff (CFP), as disclosed by ESPN.

The Disney-owned pay-TV network presently has two years remaining on its existing deal and is actively negotiating a potential six-year contract valued at approximately $1.3 billion, slated to commence from 2026. Despite ongoing talks, no formal agreement has been reached thus far.

According to ESPN’s reports, a development in the negotiations is the inclusion of sublicensing rights, allowing ESPN to sublicense certain games to other broadcasters.

This concession has been a pivotal point in the negotiations. Fox, which was rumoured earlier this month to be preparing a substantial bid for the CFP rights, is reportedly keen on acquiring broadcasting rights for specific games.

Bill Hancock, the executive director of CFP, emphasised that any sublicensing deal reached by ESPN would require approval from the 11 college presidents and chancellors who control the CFP.

Hancock also clarified that the exclusive negotiating window with ESPN has concluded.

ESPN has been the exclusive broadcaster for the semi-finals and finals of the CFP since its inception in 2014, consistently drawing significant ratings. The recently concluded semi-finals averaged 22.6 million viewers, reinforcing the event’s status as a major television attraction. With the upcoming expansion of the CFP to 12 teams next year, the broadcasting inventory is set to experience a substantial increase.

While Hancock did not provide a specific timeline for the new contract, he indicated that negotiations were reaching a conclusion.

“I have to say, this is a negotiation, and so I’m not going to be able to tell you much about it,” Hancock commented.

“We’re happy with where we are and not quite to the finish line yet.”

Michigan State defeated Washington 34-13 on January 8 to win this year’s CFP National Championship.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.