Skip to content

Report: ESPN, CFP agree to 6-year extension worth $7.8B

Icon Sportswire / Getty

ESPN and the College Football Playoff agreed to terms on a contract extension that'll make the network the home of the 12-team playoff tournament through the 2031-32 season, sources told The Athletic's Andrew Marchand, Nicole Auerbach, Stewart Mandel, and Chris Vannini.

The six-year extension will cost the network around $1.3 billion annually. ESPN is currently paying an average of $608 million per year for a CFP package that includes the semifinals and title game.

The agreement with ESPN won't be ratified until commissioners and presidents vote on the structure and financials of the expanded CFP. The new deal is believed to be contingent on leaders finalizing details of the new format following the demise of the Pac-12 as a Power 5 league.

The CFP management committee has recommended a playoff model that would feature the five conference champions and seven highest-ranked at-large teams. The playoff board initially submitted a proposal for a 6+6 model but amended the format after 10 teams declared their intentions to leave the Pac-12 ahead of the 2024 season.

ESPN will own the rights to the first set of games held at on-campus sites. The network will also broadcast the quarterfinals, semifinals, and CFP Championship Game under the new agreement.

The deal between the Disney-owned network and the CFP committee will also grant ESPN the ability to sublicense games to other networks at its own discretion.

The CFP's current contract with ESPN is set to run through the 2025-26 season. Any changes to the format prior to the conclusion of the deal would require a unanimous vote.

Some of the issues that remain unresolved ahead of CFP expanding from a four- to a 12-team field are the future of governance, revenue distribution, and access.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox