ESPN has reached a 12-year agreement with the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences for the Sugar Bowl (previously referred to as Champions Bowl) in New Orleans. The agreement, which begins in January 2015 with the inaugural game between the two conference champions, will include rights to the Sugar Bowl across ESPN’s platforms through 2026. Each year, the game will be played January 1 in prime time.
The news was announced today by John Skipper, ESPN President, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
ESPN will have the rights to the Sugar Bowl each year no matter what is determined to be the exact post-season bowl rotation as part of the future format. Those rights include television, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and on smartphones, tablets, online and on Xbox LIVE via WatchESPN. Additionally, ESPN has secured rights to distribute the Sugar Bowl on ESPN 3D and around the world via ESPN International.
“Given the history of excellence by teams in the SEC and Big 12, we recognized the value in securing long-term rights to the Sugar Bowl,” Skipper said, adding, “The matchup will provide college football fans with a memorable way to start the New Year on ESPN’s many platforms.”
Slive said, “The matchup between the SEC and the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN creates a new tradition for college football fans on New Year’s Night. We are very excited about this new venture and look forward to competing against the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN.”
Bowlsby added, “ESPN has a rich post-season college football history. The long-term commitment of our partners from ESPN, the SEC, and the Sugar Bowl to this game assures its stature as a marquee event among college athletics.”
Paul Hoolahan, Chief Executive Officer, Sugar Bowl, said, “The Sugar Bowl is delighted to extend our partnership with ESPN to present this stellar game between top representatives of two perennial powerhouse conferences.”
ESPN had previously announced a new, 12-year agreement for the Rose Bowl, also beginning in 2015.