The new deal begins in January 2015 with the inaugural game and last through 2026, which is currently the same length of the new four-team playoff format. It kicks off on January 1 and will be in primetime according to a release by both leagues and ESPN.
“The matchup between the SEC and the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN creates a new tradition for college football fans on New Year’s Night,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “We are very excited about this new venture and look forward to competing against the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN.”
“ESPN has a rich post-season college football history,” added Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowslby. “The long-term commitment of our partners from ESPN, the SEC, and the Sugar Bowl to this game assures its stature as a marquee event among college athletics.”
The two conferences announced a deal for what was being referred to as a Champions Bowl back in July and would feature the league champions from both the SEC and Big 12. If those teams are involved in the four-team playoff, then the next available teams will fill their spots in the game.
According to the release Wednesday, ESPN Networks will carry the game even if it falls into the two semifinal game rotation.
ESPN also signed a deal with the Big Ten and Pac-12 for the rights to the Rose Bowl. The network is reportedly paying $80 million in the deal. Reports have that same amount being considered for a deal with the Sugar Bowl as well.
Don't forget about Matt's Murschel's weekly mail bag. If you have any college football questions you would like answered or just issues or players you would like his thoughts on please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.