ESPN Gets Rights To New Sugar Bowl

When the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 first announced a new Champions Bowl and then made arrangements to play the "new" bowl instead as the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, several things were assured, not the least of which was that it would make for a nice television package. That came to fruition Wednesday with the announcement of a deal with ESPN.

Alabama has played in 13 Sugar Bowl games, and also played in the Louisiana Superdome last year post-Sugar Bowl in the BCS National Championship Game.Bama won the BCS meeting and has an 8-5 record in Sugar Bowl games.

ESPN has reached a 12-year agreement with the SEC and Big 12 for the Sugar Bowl. The agreement, which begins in January 2015 with the inaugural game between the two conference champions (or highest ranked available teams), will include rights to the Sugar Bowl across ESPN's platforms through 2026. Each year, the game will be played January 1 in prime time.

ESPN will have the rights to the Sugar Bowl each year no matter what is determined to be the exact post-season bowl rotation as part of the future college football playoff format. Those 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," ESPN President John Skipper said.

ESPN had previously announced a new, 12-year agreement for the Rose Bowl, also beginning in 2015.

Financial details were not announced.

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