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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Chick-fil-A Bowl announces time and date

By Edward Aschoff

The 45th annual Chick-fil-A Bowl will be played on Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET, bowl officials announced Tuesday.

This will mark the 21st New Year’s Eve edition of the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the 21st time the SEC and ACC will be matched up for the game, making it the longest-running rivalry game between the conferences.

“The long-term success of our bowl is due in large part to the quality of the partnerships we’ve developed, and this especially applies to our partnership with ESPN,” Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan said in a press release. “Showcasing our game to a national audience in an unopposed prime time slot on ESPN sets us apart and gives our game a significant national reach in a unique and coveted position.”

The game will feature the first selection from the ACC (after the BCS) against an SEC opponent.

According to a press release, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has been telecast by ESPN every year since 1992 and "accounts for three of the top 10 most-viewed non-BCS bowl game telecasts in ESPN history." In 2011, 6.1 million viewers tuned in for the game. Last year's game was one of six bowls selected for broadcast by ESPN 3D.

The 2010 game had a TV rating of 5.0 and a record peak of 8.4 million viewers, making it the top-rated non-BCS game on ESPN that season.

Following Auburn’s 43-24 win over Virginia last year, the series between the SEC and ACC is tied at 10-10.