ESPN has reached a 12-year agreement with the Southeastern and Big 12 conferences for the rights to air the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans across multiple platforms through 2026.
The agreement begins in January 2015 with the inaugural game between the SEC and Big 12 champions. Each year, the Sugar Bowl, previously referred to as the Champions Bowl, will be played Jan. 1 in prime time.
The TV partnership was announced Wednesday by ESPN president John Skipper, SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. ESPN had previously announced a new 12-year agreement for the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, also beginning in 2015.
ESPN will have the rights to the Sugar Bowl each year no matter what is determined to be the exact postseason bowl rotation as part of the future playoff format. These 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 in a joint statement with Slive and Bowlsby, adding, "the matchup will provide college football fans with a memorable way to start the New Year on ESPN's many platforms."
The SEC and Big 12 recently picked the Sugar Bowl as the site of their new marquee game. Their champions will play in the game, unless those teams are selected for the four-team playoff that also starts in the 2014 season. The Sugar Bowl will be one of six sites in the playoff rotation.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy cited sources on Nov. 6 as saying that ESPN will pay $80 million a year to televise the Sugar Bowl, the same amount the network will pay annually for the Rose Bowl. The Orange Bowl is expected to cost $55 million, sources told McMurphy.