Fox nabs BCS rights in $80 million deal

Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:59 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

The Bowl Championship Series is moving to Fox.

BCS coordinator Kevin Weiberg announced Monday the BCS has reached an $80 million agreement with Fox to televise the Bowl Championship. The contract includes exclusive rights to televise the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls, as well as the new fifth BCS bowl, beginning after the 2006 regular season through the 2010 games.

ABC maintained its contract to televise the Rose Bowl until 2014, which includes the national championship games in 2010 and 2014.

“We look forward to the innovative presentation that the Fox team will bring to the BCS,” Weiberg said. “This is a good day for college football.”

ABC, which has televised the BCS games since their inception in 1998, pulled out of the negotiations Friday because of displeasure with the new structure. The fifth BCS increases the access and increases the number of teams involved from eight to 10.

Details about when the fifth bowl game will be played have not been settled.

“We’re all absolutely thrilled, and it’s a beautiful thing,” Fox Sports chairman David Hill said.

Hill said he thinks the BCS’s attraction will continue to grow and attract viewers.

“If you just look at where we stand in television today, it’s a very shaky quagmire,” he said. “Big sports are the only guarantee there is for advertisers to find viewers. The NFL, the BCS stand like giants in a world of pygmies. That’s the reason we went into it.”

Weiberg also said the new agreement will increase revenue distribution for member institutions.

Fox televises 31 games from the Big 12 Conference and the Pac 10 Conference on its affiliate Fox Sports Net, but Fox does not plan to increase its college football coverage. Fox will also maintain its coverage of the Cotton Bowl.

Hill said Fox will make a distinction from itscoverage of NFL games, using different production and broadcast crews, but also said they will use NFL games as a means to promote the bowl games.

If the 2004 season ended today, No. 1 Southern California and No. 2 Oklahoma would play in the Orange Bowl for the national championship.

Boston College, California, Utah and Virginia Tech would be the other teams involved.

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