ESPN Renews College Football Playoff Rights Through 2032, Inks $7.8 Billion Extension Deal

ESPN has locked up rights to the College Football Playoff through the 2031-32 season, it was announced Tuesday.

ESPN, which has been the exclusive home of the CFP since its inception in 2015, 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 (now quarterfinals and semifinals) and the CFP National Championship rights in the new 12-team playoff that will launch this fall.

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In addition, the Disney-owned sports giant clinched a new, six-year agreement — worth $7.8 billion, or $1.3 billion per year, according to ESPN — for the entire CFP, which includes exclusive rights to all rounds of the expanded playoff (first round, quarterfinal, semifinal and national championship), as well as continued exclusive rights to all ancillary programming connected to the playoff series, such as the CFP Selection Show and weekly top 25 rankings shows.

Under the expanded rights deal, which commences with the 2026-27 season, the College Football Playoff National Championship game will be broadcast on ABC in addition to ESPN’s megacast cable network presentation. In both the amended two-year agreement and new six-year extension, the CFP provides ESPN with the right to sublicense a select number of games.

The agreement marks ESPN’s second significant college sports media rights extension in 2024, following the eight-year deal with the NCAA announced in January valued at $920 million across multiple sports. That encompasses exclusive rights to 40 NCAA Championship events. ESPN now claims the exclusive domestic rights to every major college championship (excluding men’s basketball) as well as international rights to all major college championships.

“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,” said ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro in a statement. “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.”

“We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock added. “It’s 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 because ESPN’s people love college football every bit as much as we all do.”

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), with eight of the top 10 directly from CFP Semifinals or National Championship games.

Pictured above: Colston Loveland (No. 18) of the Michigan Wolverines runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Washington Huskies during the 2024 CFP National Championship game Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston

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