TNT Sports to sublicense games from ESPN

as College Football Playoff The format changes begin this upcoming season, and details about how they will work and look continue to emerge.

One of those is TV rights and schedule.

Wednesday, ESPN and the College Football Playoff announced that the network has reached a five-year contract with TNT Sports, a division of Warner Bros. Television. Discovery, to license select CFP games from ESPN starting with two first-round games next season. The matches will be broadcast on TNT.

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with ESPN, providing TNT Sports the opportunity to showcase College Football Playoff games on our platforms for years to come,” said TNT Sports Chairman and CEO Louis Silberwasser. He said in a statement. “TNT Sports aims to delight fans and maximize access and engagement with these iconic games.”

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The college football broadcast will be a first for TNT Sports — which in recent years has added NHL and MLB rights to its resume to go along with the NBA and NCAA tournament. As part of the deal with ESPN, TNT Sports will also receive two quarterfinal games in addition to its two first-round games starting in 2026. According to the press release, ESPN will broadcast all other CFP games on its networks including the national championship game.

“ESPN is pleased to sublicense to TNT Sports a select number of College Football Playoff first-round games, an event we have helped grow — along with the CFP — into one of the premier tournaments,” ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions Rosalyn Durant He said in a statement. “We are confident in the reach and promotion this new agreement will provide as we enter the new and expanded playoff era.”

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the statement, however According to the Associated Press. A CFP sublicense to TNT Sports is possible due to the new $7.8 billion deal ESPN signed in March to retain the CFP rights.

College football playoff format

News of TNT Sports joining the CFP broadcast rights comes next College Football Board of Directors The College Football Playoffs system from five to 12 teams, i.e. the 5+7 model, was unanimously approved in February.

“It is exciting to add TNT Sports, another well-respected broadcast station, to the College Football Playoff family,” said College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock. He said in a statement. “Sports fans across the country are very familiar with their work across a wide range of sports properties over the past two decades, and we look forward to seeing the new and innovative ideas they bring to promote and deliver these games.”

In a 5+7 format, the four highest-seeded conference champions win the first round and are seeded 1st-4th, with the remaining eight teams receiving a 5th-12th seed. These eight teams then play each other in the first round on the home court of the higher-ranked team.

Here’s a look at the 2024-25 College Football Playoff schedule with a 12-team model:

First round (on campus)

  • Friday, December 20, 2024: 1 match
  • Saturday, December 21, 2024: Three matches


  • Tuesday, December 31, 2024: Vrbo Fiesta Bowl
  • Wednesday, January 1, 2025: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl Game, and Allstate Sugar Bowl


  • Thursday, January 9, 2025: Capital One Orange Bowl
  • Friday, January 10, 2025: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

International tournament

  • Monday, January 20, 2025: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)

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