ESPN announced Wednesday a 12-year agreement with the Southeastern and Big 12 conferences for the broadcast rights to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans beginning in January 2015. The annual game will be played Jan. 1 as part of the postseason bowl rotation that encompasses the new playoff format in which semifinal games will be played leading up to the national championship. ESPN will hold the rights to the game each year regardless of the playoff mix. "Given the history of excellence by teams in the SEC and Big 12, we recognized the value in securing long-term rights to the Sugar Bowl," ESPN president John Skipper said. ESPN had earlier announced a 12-year agreement starting in 2015 with the Pac-12 and the Big Ten for the Rose Bowl, which also will be part of the playoff rotation. "The matchup between the SEC and the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl on ESPN creates a new tradition for college football fans on New Year's Night," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said.
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