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College Football Playoffs Expansion Talks Scheduled to Resume Next Month

Published on Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 6:02 am
 

According to an article appearing on ESPN, expanding the College Football Playoffs (CFP) — which could impact the Rose Bowl Game — must be decided by January if the new format is going to be in place in time for the 2024 season.

The CFP is currently considering expanding to an eight or 12-game playoff series. So far one of the sticking points has been the traditional 2 p.m. New Year’s Day Rose Bowl Game start time.

Talks were tabled earlier this month and are scheduled to resume next month.

Under the new format the game could be moved from its traditional time unless it becomes a permanent semifinal game, fixed in its traditional format, which Hahn & Hahn Attorney Laura Farber called for in a memo to CFP officials earlier this year.

In that memo, the former Tournament president called for the development of an independent media contract with the Rose Bowl Game, its partner conferences, and a telecast entity for an “annual quarterfinal game.”

“The proposed quarterfinal Rose Bowl game shall occur on January 1 annually in its historic telecast window [approximately 5 p.m. Eastern time] following the Rose Parade,” wrote Farber in the memo dated April 6.

According to Sports Illustrated, the CFP plans to negotiate its TV rights under the same umbrella in the expanded playoff system. The Rose Bowl’s contract with the Pac-12 and Big Ten is seen as the most valuable. Tournament of Roses officials want to keep the contract.

The Rose Bowl game contract with ESPN was extended on June 28, 2012, to 2026, for a reportedly $80 million per year.

The Rose Bowl’s $80 million annual rights fee was a 167 percent jump from the $30 million the network paid before the renegotiation.

The Rose Bowl Game will return to its traditional format next year when the champions of the Big Ten and Pac 12 square off in the Granddaddy of Them All.

According to the tri-party agreement between the Tournament of Roses Association and the two college football conferences, the Rose Bowl Game is contractually obligated to feature champions of the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences.

The contract is the longest consecutive bowl and conference agreement in college football, dating back to 1946, and was first executed in the 1947 Rose Bowl Game.

If the Pac-12 or Big Ten Conference Champion is selected to the National Championship or National Semifinals, that team is released to play in that game and the Tournament of Roses Association selects a replacement team.

Should a team from the Big Ten or Pac-12 be selected to play in the College Football Playoff, the Tournament of Roses traditionally selects the next-highest CFP-ranked team from that conference.

In addition to being a traditional matchup, the 108th Rose Bowl Game will also kick off the Rose Bowl Stadium’s 16-month celebration of its 100th-anniversary celebration.

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