Having already nailed down all five Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, ESPN has further expanded its bowl game domination with a deal to broadcast the Gator Bowl, beginning New Year’s Day 2011 and continuing through 2014. The Gator Bowl had last been on CBS, but this marks a return to ESPN after the rights moved to TBS, NBC and then CBS.
At the same time, ESPN announced extensions of its broadcast rights to the Capitol One Bowl and Outback Bowl, resulting in what it calls a “roadblock of bowls matching a team from the SEC against one from the Big Ten across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.”
Come New Year’s Day 2011, the Capital One Bowl will kick off an ESPN tripleheader on Saturday, January 1, at 1 pm ET and will be followed by the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, both BCS Bowls. It will mark the first year ESPN will televise all five of the BCS bowls – also including the Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Tostitos BCS National Championship – exclusively. Also on January 1, the Outback Bowl will be televised at 1 pm on ABC (the game was previously played at 11 am on ESPN) and the Gator Bowl at 1:30 pm on ESPN2.
“We are thrilled to add the Gator Bowl to our extensive postseason coverage and to extend our longstanding relationships with the Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl. These premier matchups between teams from two elite conferences in a three-wide ‘roadblock’ across the ESPN platforms will drive viewers to our inaugural Rose Bowl Game telecast,” said Dave Brown, Vice President, ESPN Programming & Acquisitions.
The Outback Bowl extension runs through 2014 and the Capitol One Bowl through 2018.