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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Reports: BCS games might air on cable starting in 2010

ESPN.com

The Bowl Championship Series games could be moving to cable television as early as 2010, according to media reports.

The Walt Disney Co., the parent company of ESPN, is among the bidders for the five BCS games -- and according to reports in USA Today and SportsBusiness Daily, the company has bid about $25 million per year more than its closest competitor for the new BCS deal.

Fox's four-year deal with the BCS ends after the 2009 season. If Disney's bid for the new deal is accepted, then the BCS games and the national championship would be aired on ESPN starting in 2010, according to USA Today.

"We've had good meetings and discussion to this point," BCS coordinator and Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said Tuesday, according to USA Today. "The BCS is obviously an attractive television property, but we simply have not completed our process."

Conference commissioners and BCS TV negotiator Barry Frank have been meeting in Chicago with the networks since Sunday, USA Today reported.

SportsBusiness Daily reported that in bidding, Disney is offering about $125 million annually to air the games, while Fox is offering about $100 million annually. According to USA Today, several people with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed those figures.

ESPN did not immediately comment on the reports.

Fox currently pays about $82.5 million annually to air four of the five BCS games -- the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls and the BCS National Championship Game. ABC, also an affiliate of Disney, currently has a separate deal to air the Rose Bowl.