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ESPN And College Football Playoff Reach Extension Through 2031-32


As the gets set to expand to 12 teams this fall, the postseason tournament has reached a nearly $8 billion extension with ESPN through the 2031-32 season.

Disney’s sports division and the CFP set a pair of media deals ensuring that ESPN remains the exclusive global rights holder through the 2031-32 season. The extension had been expected, though other suitors expressed interest during the interval when the CFP was exploring alternatives to ESPN, which was its media partner when the playoff debuted at the end of the 2014-15 season.

ESPN will expand its current package for the final two years (through the 2025-26 season), adding all four of the new first-round games each year to ESPN’s existing New Year’s Six package, which will now be the CFP’s quarterfinals and semifinals. Those initial rounds will be followed by the CFP National Championship game, which will start being simulcast on ABC in 2026-27.

After the current deal elapses, ESPN and the CFP have agreed on a separate, 6-year agreement starting in 2026-27. That will encompass the entire CFP, which includes exclusive rights to all rounds of the expanded playoff – first round, quarterfinal, semifinal and National Championship, plus rights to all ancillary programming connected to the playoff.

The parties did not disclose financial terms, but multiple press reports pegged the value at $1.3 billion a year for the six-year extension, with a total pricetag coming in at nearly $7.9 billion.

Both the amended two-year agreement and the six-year extension allow ESPN to potentially sublicense a select number of games.

“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,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said. “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.”

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock declared this “a significant day for the CFP and for the future of college football. The depth of coverage that ESPN gives to the sport throughout the season is second to none. There is no better platform to showcase this iconic championship as we move into the new 12-team format.”

The CFP has contributed to the most-watched days in ESPN’s nearly 45-year history. College football on ESPN accounts for the top 15 and more than 50 of the top 100 most-watched cable programs on record since 1987.



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