Say goodbye to Joe Buck and an over-abundance of crowd shots during the college football national championship game (and hello to Chris Berman? shudder) - the BCS is moving from Fox to ESPN, beginning with the 2010-2011 season.
Fox, who pays an estimated $82.5 million each year to broadcast four of the five BCS games (the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls and the BCS National Championship Game; ABC has its own deal for the Rose Bowl), pulled out of the bidding war with ESPN yesterday, after topping-out at $100 million each year. The deal with ESPN is reported to be as much as $125 million per season. The new agreement will keep the BCS on the Disney/ESPN family of networks through 2014.
"The BCS will thrive on ESPN," ESPN president George Bodenheimer said. "Our slogan is 'College Football Lives Here' and the BCS will now top college football's best regular-season and studio coverage, the sport's top awards shows, Bowl Week and other national championships all carried on our family of networks. This is a proud day for ESPN and an exceptional day for this great sport and its passionate fans."
"We are tremendously pleased to reach an agreement with ESPN and feel that the BCS games from 2011 to '14 will be in good hands," said BCS commissioner John Swofford, who is also the commissioner of the ACC. "With the continued growth of technology and the depth of coverage that ESPN gives to the college football fan on all its platforms during the regular season, this postseason partnership is a natural fit."
Good news: ESPN covers college football all year long, unlike Fox, so they know what they're doing (and anything that involves Kirk Herbstreit is OK in my book).
Bad news: First off, ESPN is unavailable in 16 million homes (which may end up being a non-issue, since they have ABC at their disposal), but more importantly, this means no playoff system until at least 2014. Oof.