ESPN scores Rose Bowl rights through 2026 in $80M annual deal

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ESPN has agreed to pay a whopping average of $80 million a year to continue televising the annual Rose Bowl college football game, a mammoth deal that will apply for over 11 years.

The new TV deal gives ESPN the rights to carry the Rose Bowl game from 2015 to 2026 (the same time span as the new 4-team playoff system currently being tested by college football).

ESPN pays about $30 million a year for the Rose Bowl game, and some media watchers wonder who’ll get all that money now that the price tag is more than doubling.

The Sports Business Journal reports that the Rose Bowl’s partners, the Pac-12 and Big 10 conferences, get to keep it — except when The Rose Bowl is a semi-final game in the new playoffs.

In those years, the money will go into the playoff system. College football officials are still working out how to distribute it to all the conferences involved.

News of the Rose Bowl TV deal arrives as stadium officials and the City of Pasadena scramble to address a $36 million funding gap in the stadium’s renovation plan.

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