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Orange Bowl finalizes 12-year deal with ACC and ESPN

The SportsXchange

The ACC and Orange Bowl have finalized a 12-year agreement where the ACC will have an automatic berth in the game against teams from either the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame, reported Wednesday night.

ESPN will reportedly pay an average of $55 million annually to televise the Orange Bowl during the duration of the dozen-year deal, said. That amount would be split evenly between the ACC and the SEC or Big Ten, the report said. However, if Notre Dame were to play in the game, it would reportedly receive a "significant amount less" than the $27.5 million that either the Big Ten or SEC would receive.

The new agreement goes into effect with the game on Jan. 1, 2015, sources told ESPN. The timing coincides with the new upcoming college football playoff, which begins after the 2014 regular season, and would include the Orange Bowl and five other bowl games that would be part of a rotation for the semifinals of the eventual college championship game.

The Orange Bowl joins the Rose Bowl (Big Ten and Pac-12 champions) and Sugar Bowl (SEC and Big 12 champions) as key contract bowls, with all to be televised by ESPN. The other three contract bowls have yet to be selected, but the Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls are reportedly the key contenders to round out the six-bowl series put in place to determine a national champion.

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