The Rose Bowl has signed an agreement with the College Football Playoff that paves the way for the event to expand to 12 teams starting in 2024, sources confirm to CBS Sports. The CFP had given the Rose Bowl until the end of the week – at the latest – to agree to terms that the bowl had so far refused to accept.
With the Rose Bowl in the fold, a formal announcement of a 12-team playoff in 2024 and 2025 is expected soon. The new format was initially approved by the CFP Board of Managers in September.
While the terms of the agreement signed by the Rose Bowl are yet to be announced, the bowl had required the bowl to play its game at 5 p.m. ET on January 1 in its traditional time slot, despite the extension of the playoffs potentially extending the bowling season. schedule would affect. That time slot is considered one of the most valuable in sports television. The agreement signed by the Rose Bowl likely allows for significantly more flexibility in that planning process.
In an expanded playoff, the games themselves are more important than the bowls that host the matches. The Rose Bowl’s refusal to agree to a more unified scheduling policy would have delayed the expansion until 2026 after the CFP’s current contract with ESPN expires. That would have cost the parties involved an estimated $450 million in additional revenue, and may have kept the Rose Bowl out of the selection process after a new contract was signed.
The Rose Bowl had proposed holding the CFP quarterfinals in 2024 and 2025 — possibly without their traditional Big Ten and Pac-12 partners — in exchange for keeping its time slot as part of the new media rights contract from the CFP starting in 2026, a source close to the situation told CBS Sports. That offer was declined.
When asked what influence the Rose Bowl had on the process, one person involved in the CFP process simply replied, “They don’t have any.” A CFP bowl official said early expansion would have been impossible after this weekend’s championship games amid the rush of the bowl and playoff season.
The CFP is in its ninth year of a 12-year deal with ESPN that expires after the 2025 season. All necessary parties except the Rose Bowl had already agreed to expand to 12 teams for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. conferences, Notre Dame, and the participating New Year’s Six bowls agreed on things like play at campus locations, game dates, and revenue splits for early expansion. However, the agreement to expand early had to be unanimous.
Over the years, every BCS/CFP scheduling decision — to date — has allowed the Rose Bowl to broadcast its game at its desired 5 p.m. timeslot on or around New Year’s Day. The match is traditionally scheduled to follow the Tournament of Roses of Parade. The timing was such that the sun would always set in the west over the San Gabriel Mountains during the game, creating one of the most iconic settings in American sports.
With the CFP ready to expand, the handlers became less tolerant of meeting the demands of the Rose Bowl. That 5 p.m. time slot will be too valuable in the future if – for the first time – there is a sense that the games are more important than the bowl sites.
“It’s the equivalent of Super Bowl Sunday,” an industry source said of the 5 p.m. time slot. “New Year’s Day is kind of a Sunday, even if it’s not on a Sunday. Everyone’s hungover from New Year’s Eve. They’re sitting back, it’s 5 o’clock. Everyone’s done with what they have to do. It’s the best window there is. “
The main reasons for expanding early are to give teams more access to the playoffs and raise an additional $450 million a year from rights holder ESPN so it can air the additional CFP games in 2024 and 2025. A new media rights contract must be signed for 2026 and beyond.
It was not clear what influence the Rose Bowl thought it had on the negotiations. That broadcast window is valuable, and CFP stakeholders were tired of putting the Rose Bowl into a lineup that stretches back nearly a quarter of a century.
The Rose Bowl began to relinquish its exclusivity in 1998, the first year of the BCS. At the time, it agreed to end an unbroken streak of the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions dating back to 1947. In the BCS agreement, the Rose Bowl gave up its two spots once every four years in a rotation to host the BCS Championship. Game. That happened for the first time after the 2001 season when Miami defeated Nebraska for its last league title. Both schools said at the time that they were meant to feel like outsiders after 55 consecutive years of Big Ten vs. Pac-8/10 Matchups.
When the CFP began in 2014, it was certain that the Rose Bowl would never host a national championship. Los Angeles built the new SoFi stadium and the city of Pasadena didn’t have the resources to outbid the city of LA. SoFi will host the 2023 CFP National Championship. Meanwhile, since 2014, the Rose Bowl will host the 2015, 2018, and 2021 CFP semifinals.
“The shine of that game is going away [if the Rose doesn’t agree]said a bowl manager outside the CFP system. Maybe the Rose Bowl should just give in, soak it up. It’s just who blinks first.
Wednesday night, the Rose Bowl flashed.