TNT Sports Strikes Licensing Deal for Select College Football Playoff Games With ESPN

TNT Sports has struck a five-year agreement that will allow the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned network to license select college football playoff games from ESPN, beginning with the upcoming season.

Under the terms of the pact, TNT Sports will present two first-round CFP games during the 2024 and ’25 seasons. Beginning with the 2026 season through the 2028 season, it will add two quarterfinal games each year.

TNT will be the primary network televising the sublicensed games, among additional TNT Sports distribution platforms.

“We’re delighted to reach this agreement with ESPN, providing TNT Sports the opportunity to showcase these college football playoff games on our platforms for years to come,” TNT Sports chairman and CEO Luis Silberwasser said in a Wednesday statement. “TNT Sports aims to delight fans and drive maximum reach and engagement for these marquee games.”

“We’re confident in the reach and promotion that this new agreement will provide as we enter the new, expanded playoff era,” ESPN programming and acquisitions executive vice president Rosalyn Durant added.

The deal with TNT comes after ESPN scored a six-year, $7.8 billion media rights extension in March for the CFP through the 2032 season.

ESPN will present all other CFP games on its networks, including the annual college National Championship game.

“It is exciting to add TNT Sports, another highly respected broadcaster, to the college football playoff family,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said. “Sports fans across the country are intimately familiar with their work across a wide variety of sports properties over the past two decades, and we look forward to seeing what new and innovative ideas they bring to the promotion and delivery of these games.”

This year will mark the expansion of the playoffs from four teams to 12. The four highest-ranking conference champions will be seeded 1-4 and receive first-round byes. The CFP first round will consist of four games played at home campus venues, with teams seeded 5-8 hosting teams seeded 9-12.

Key dates for the 2024-25 CFP schedule are as follows:

  • First Round:

    • Dec. 20-21

  • Quarterfinals:

    • Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 31

    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Jan.1

    • Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential, Jan. 1

    • Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1

  • Semifinals:

    • Capital One Orange Bowl, Jan. 9

    • Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Jan. 10

  • National Championship Game:

    • Jan. 20 (Atlanta, Ga.)

Additional details regarding programming plans for the college football playoff will be announced at a later date.

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