College Football Playoff, ESPN Agree to 6-Year Contract Extension amid Expansion - 2 minutes read

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ESPN will remain the home of the College Football Playoff through the 2031-32 season after agreeing to a six-year, $7.8 billion contract extension, ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro told Sara Fischer on Tuesday at Axios' What's Next Summit.

Pitaro said in a press release:

"ESPN has worked very closely with the College Football Playoff over the past decade to build one of the most prominent events in American sports. We look forward to enhancing our valued relationship over the next two years, and then continuing it for six more as we embark on this new, expanded playoff era. This agreement further solidifies ESPN as the home of college football, as well as the destination for the vast majority of major college championships for the next eight years."
Axios : ESPN has signed a 6-year extension to remain the sole TV partner for the College Football Playoff, ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro just told at Axios' What's Next Summit. #AxiosWNS

With the College Football Playoff expanding from four to 12 teams beginning next season, Pitaro said that ESPN also had to amend its current deal, which has two seasons remaining and runs through 2025-26.

The amended agreement adds all four of the new first round games each year to ESPN's existing New Year's Six and national championship rights.

ESPN's new six-year deal will begin in 2026-27 and includes the rights to all rounds of the expanded College Football Playoff, in addition to the CFP Selection Show and weekly Top 25 rankings.

In both of the agreements, ESPN has the ability to sublicense a number of games to other networks.

When the new agreement starts, the College Football Playoff could expand to 14 teams, ESPN's Heather Dinich and Pete Thamel reported last week. The national championship game will also move from ESPN to ABC beginning with the 2026-27 campaign.

The College Football Playoff has long been one of the most popular events on the sports calendar. The 2024 national championship game between Michigan and Washington drew 25 million viewers, per Tim Baysinger of Axios.

Michigan will be among the teams to watch next season alongside the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Oregon and Ohio State. Ole Miss, Missouri, Notre Dame, Washington, Utah, LSU, Oklahoma and Clemson will also be teams to keep an eye on with the CFP expanding.

Source: Bleacher Report

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