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FOX Sports to televise BCS beginning in 2007

FOX Sports to televise BCS beginning in 2007 FOX Sports and the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) announced a deal Monday that grants the network four-year exclusive rights for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl and Nokia Sugar Bowl, as well as a new, standalone BCS National Championship Game. The agreement covers the bowl games from 2007 through 2010 and the championship game from 2007 through 2009. Neither party disclosed financial terms of the deal. Last week, ABC withdrew from negotiations to extend its existing contract to cover the BCS bowl games after it reportedly offered about $8 million less per bowl game than the $25 million it currently pays per BCS bowl game.

Besides garnering broadcast rights, FOX Sports was awarded national radio rights, Internet rights, all sponsorship rights, including naming rights, signage and virtual signage opportunities and in-game enhancements and an ancillary programming on FOX and FSN. The agreement also established a joint merchandising venture among FOX, BCS and the bowls. Currently, the BCS championship game is presented on a rotating basis among the Fiesta, Orange, Rose or Sugar Bowl. It is one of the most watched sporting events annually.

The new agreement does not affect FOX Sports’ existing deal to televise the Cotton Bowl.

Besides that and the BSC deal, FSN has national cable rights to PAC 10 and Big 12 football. Its recently launched Fox College Sports carries more than 100 games from its owned and affiliated regional sports networks. Over the next two years, FOX Sports will develop its broadcast production team for its coverage of the BCS bowl and championship games.

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