ESPN to keep CFP broadcast rights through ’31

The College Football Playoff is officially staying with ESPN and its family of networks.

ESPN announced a six-year, $7.8 billion deal to retain the media rights to the CFP through the 2031 season, concluding with the national title game in January 2032.

The deal was first reported in February, but it needed ratification after the playoff finalized its new format. The CFP will expand from four teams to 12 starting next season.

The CFP is extending its current deal with ESPN for two years (2024 and 2025) and giving ESPN the four new first-round games on top of the quarterfinals, semifinals and national championship game.

Beginning in 2026, ESPN’s new deal kicks in, and it encompasses all rounds of the playoff, which may expand to 14 teams by that time.

Further, the national championship game will be broadcast on ABC beginning in January 2027 (for the 2026 season), in addition to ESPN’s usual mega-cast of the game.

“ESPN has worked very closely with the College Football Playoff over the past decade to build one of the most prominent events in American sports,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

“We look forward to enhancing our valued relationship over the next two years, and then continuing it for six more as we embark on this new, expanded playoff era. This agreement further solidifies ESPN as the home of college football, as well as the destination for the vast majority of major college championships for the next eight years.”

According to The Athletic last month, ESPN will have the right to “sublicense” CFP games over the course of the contract to other media organizations or streamers.