Warner Bros. Discovery-owned US sports broadcaster TNT Sports has agreed a five-year sublicensing deal with Disney’s ESPN to broadcast college American football’s annual playoff games.

Starting with the upcoming 2024-25 College Football Playoff (CFP) season, TNT will broadcast two first-round playoff games every year and will add an additional two quarter-final games to the sublicense from 2026-27 onwards, all through to the end of the 2028-28 season.

The fixtures will primarily be broadcast on the linear TNT Sports channel and will be available on other select TNT Sports platforms. The CFP first round games in the upcoming season will take place across December 20-21, with the quarter- and semi-finals taking place across the first two weeks of January 2025, before the January 20 National Championship game, which will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Speaking on the announcement, ESPN executive vice president for programming and acquisitions Rosalyn Durant stated: “We're confident in the reach and promotion that this new agreement will provide as we enter the new, expanded playoff era."

From 2024-25 onwards, the CFP has been expanded to include 12 teams, where previously it had only been four. This expanded broadcast burden and the reportedly massive $7.8 billion Disney paid in March for the CFP rights through 2032, are likely major drivers behind ESPN choosing to sublicense the small slate of games.

ESPN has served as the exclusive broadcaster of the CFP since 2013 in a deal that includes the right to sublicense games.

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ESPN will exclusively broadcast the remainder of the CFP fixtures through the course of the deal sublicense, and from the 2026-27 CFP season onward, CFP National Championship fixtures will also be aired on Disney-owned broadcaster ABC for the first time since the initial deal between ESPN and CFP.

Disney also retains rights to expand broadcast coverage of the CFP even further across its portfolio of media platforms.

CFP’s sponsorship program will continue to be managed by ESPN through Disney’s Advertising sales branch, which is the exclusive sales body of the CFP’s sponsorship partner program.