You had to know this was coming. ESPN has paid a whopping $6 billion to broadcast the new college-football playoff games — the ones that Obama was so keen to tell you about during the campaign.
Yep, ESPN thinks the new NCAA football playoff system is valuable enough to pay $470 million annually to broadcast all the games for the next twelve years. Mind you, it's only a four-team playoff system, so that's means two semi-final games and the national championship, but the agreement includes the other major existing Bowl Championship Series games as well. The deal starts with the 2014 season, and ends in 2026. Think about how far away that is. These people are crazy. Roll tide, or whatever.
Fans have begged for a college-football playoff for years because of the impossible to predict or understand and ultimately evil BCS. Obama said he supported a playoff system after he was first elected in 2008, so this summer when the NCAA announced the new playoffs, Politifact gave him a "promise kept" rating. What's worse (or awesome?) is that he included it when he listed off his first-term accomplishments during campaign stops, then told ESPN he still endorsed them on election eve. (Hey, at least he wasn't bragging about his March Madness brackets.)
When you combine this new deal with their pre-existing agreements to broadcast the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls, it looks like ESPN has a college football monopoly on all the major games. Which means you're almost guaranteed to spend the first week of January with ESPN for the next fourteen years. Happy New Year's!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.