ESPN has agreed to pay an average of $80 million per year to broadcast the… (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)
The 90-year-old Rose Bowl has locked down a new-age TV deal for the “Granddaddy of Them All.”
According to a Sports Business Journal report, ESPN has agreed to pay an average of $80 million per year to broadcast the Rose Bowl game through 2026. That represents a rights-fee increase of 167% from the $30 million the network currently pays, said the report, which cited unnamed industry experts.
The Pac-12 and Big Ten keep all the media revenue for that New Year’s Day bowl game, except in years in which the Rose Bowl is part of the new playoff system. In those years, the report said, that revenue would be distributed to all the FBS conferences by a method that has yet to be determined.
Media expert A.J. Maestas said that although the $80-million-per-year average is not extraordinary, he’s somewhat surprised a deal would be forged so quickly considering the uncertainties surrounding the playoff system.
“To me it indicates that ESPN felt this was a no-brainer of a deal, even with the risk of changes,” said Maestas, president of Navigate Marketing, a Chicago-based firm specializing in sports and entertainment marketing. He said his company works with ESPN, although not on this deal.
“I would guess that the Rose Bowl may have left money on the table, given that someone would take a deal in such murky waters,” he said. “But even if the Rose Bowl did leave money on the table, they’ve guaranteed themselves to be with [ESPN], clearly the domestic leader in college sports and sports overall.”
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