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ABC, Rose Bowl Extend Television Contract to 2014

August 05, 2004|Larry Stewart

ABC, which began televising the Rose Bowl game and the Rose Parade in 1989, will continue doing so through 2014.

ABC and the Rose Bowl management committee have reached an agreement on an eight-year extension of their current contract, which was to expire after the 2006 BCS championship game.

Under the extension, which goes into effect with the 2007 game, ABC will pay an average of about $30 million per game for rights, according to sources. That's an increase of about $5 million per game from the current average rights fee.

Loren Matthews, senior vice president of programming for ABC Sports, and television consultant Neal Pilson were involved in the negotiations, which were long, difficult and required the network's exclusive negotiating period to be extended several times.

Complicating matters was the new bowl format announced in June. In January 2007, an additional bowl game, the BCS championship game, will be played one week after the other four BCS games -- the Rose, Fiesta, Orange and Sugar bowls.

The first time Pasadena will host both the Rose Bowl and BCS title games is in 2010.

"It's not what television would have picked," Matthews said Wednesday.

ABC proposed in April that the championship matchup not be determined until the existing major bowl games had been played.

As it is, the teams that will play for the BCS title will be picked before the other games.

The new format apparently presented some stumbling blocks in reaching an agreement on the new extension. But, Matthews said, "Right from the beginning, all parties wanted to get a deal done."

-- Larry Stewart

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