We’ll keep this one quick, but Sports Business Daily is reporting today that ESPN has agreed to pay an average of $80 million per year for the media rights to the Rose Bowl. Read that again. That’s $80 million per year for one game. The deal would cover twelve years and would be a 167% jump over the $30 million the game currently brings in from television.
The publication suggests ESPN’s splurge could push the media rights for the new college football playoff from the $500 million already discussed to closer to $600 million. Unlike the BCS which involved five games and was sold as a unit, the new system — with six bowls, two of which will serve as semifinals, and another site serving as host to the title game — is being sold off piecemeal. Unless, of course, ESPN decides to buy up every game… which is probably likely.
If you’ve got the money to spend $80 million on the Rose Bowl, you’ve probably got the cash to go much, much further.
So what does this mean for the SEC/Big 12′s new “Champions” Bowl? Big money. The Rose Bowl may have tradition, a beautiful setting and a primo timeslot, but the new SEC/Big 12 game will feature squads from the two most-successful leagues of the past 15 years. And unlike the Rose Bowl, the SEC and Big 12 — assuming they don’t partner with an existing bowl game — can bid out its game location year after year. The Rose Bowl will have Pasadena. The “Champions” Bowl could have any big spender it’s conference owners like.
You can also expect the Orange Bowl to try to reach some form of agreement with Notre Dame. Like ‘em or not, the Irish are still a major television draw. Pairing them whenever possible against the ACC champion will allow the Miami game to ask for big money, too. Just not quite as big as the Rose Bowl and “Champions” Bowl are likely to get.
Eighty. Million. Per year.
Apparently the poor global economy isn’t too poor for the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
As for a football/basketball comparison, the NCAA Tournament brings in about $680 million from television money for 67 basketball games. That’s about $10.1 million for each one of hoops’ biggest games. The Rose Bowl will bring in about eight times that much. By itself.
Basketball’s fun, but football is the money maker… just in case you needed further proof of why football has been driving the expansion bus the past few years.