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ESPN Signs Deal with Gator Bowl, Extends Agreements with Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl; All Three Games to be Televised on New Year’s Day


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2010 Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl Show Significant Audience Growth

ESPN has reached a new multiyear pact with the Gator Bowl and has agreed to extensions with the Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl. All three post-season college football games will air annually in the early window of Jan. 1 as part of a “roadblock” of bowls matching a team from the SEC against one from the Big Ten across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.

As a result of the agreements, ESPN will receive exclusive rights to televise the Gator Bowl and Outback Bowl through 2014 and the Capital One Bowl through 2018 annually on Jan. 1. and ESPN Mobile TV can simulcast ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts each year.

This year, the Capital One Bowl will kick off an ESPN tripleheader on Saturday, Jan. 1, at 1 p.m. ET and will be followed by the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, both BCS Bowls. It will mark the first year ESPN will televise all five of the BCS bowls – also including the Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Tostitos BCS National Championship – exclusively. Also on Jan. 1, the Outback Bowl will be televised at 1 p.m. on ABC (the game was previously played at 11 a.m. on ESPN) and the Gator Bowl at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

“We are thrilled to add the Gator Bowl to our extensive postseason coverage and to extend our longstanding relationships with the Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl,” said Dave Brown, vice president, ESPN programming & acquisitions. “These premier matchups between teams from two elite conferences in a three-wide ‘roadblock’ across the ESPN platforms will drive viewers to our inaugural Rose Bowl Game telecast.”

Capital One Bowl

The Capital One Bowl has been televised on ABC since 1987. The Capital One Bowl will have the first pick of teams from the SEC and Big Ten after the BCS selection.

The 2010 telecast on ABC was the fifth most-viewed bowl game of the season and the most-viewed of the non-BCS games. The telecast – featuring a last-minute touchdown by Penn State for a thrilling 19-17 victory over LSU — averaged 7,843,000 households and 11,631,000 viewers based on a 6.8 rating, marking a 7 percent increase in households and viewers (vs. 7,361,000 and 10,839,000. respectively) and 6 percent in ratings (vs. 6.4) over last year.

Outback Bowl

ESPN has televised the Outback Bowl every year since 1993. The game will have the third selection overall and second after the BCS of teams from the SEC and Big Ten.

ESPN’s 2010 telecast, featuring Auburn defeating Northwestern 38-35 in overtime averaged 4,020,000 households, 5,685,000 viewers and a 4.1 rating making it the network’s second most-viewed Outback Bowl telecast ever. The game showed increases of 33 percent (vs. 3,033,000), 39 percent (4,093,000) and 32 percent (3.1), respectively, over last year.

Gator Bowl

The Gator Bowl was previously televised on ESPN from 1988-91. The game will pit the fifth selection after the BCS from the SEC against a third/fourth selection after the BCS from the Big Ten.