You had to know this was coming. ESPN paid a whopping $6 billion to broadcast the new college football playoff games -- the ones that Obama was so keen to tell you about during the campaign.
Yep, ESPN thinks the new NCAA football playoff system is valuable enough to pay $470 million annually to broadcast all the games for the next twelve years. Mind you, it's only a four team playoff system, so that's means two semi-final games and one championship game. But the deal includes separate bowl games that technically count as "post-season" games, but are the NCAA's equivalent to a participation ribbon, really. The deal starts in 2014, and ends in 2026. Think about how far away that is. These people are crazy. Roll tide, or whatever.
People have begged for a college football playoff for years because of the impossible to predict or understand and ultimately evil Bowl Championship Series system. Obama said he supported a playoff system after he was first elected in 2008, so this summer when the NCAA announced the new playoffs Politifact gave him a "promise kept" rating. What's worse (or awesome?) is that he included it when he listed off his first term accomplishments during campaign stops. (At least he wasn't bragging about his March Madness brackets.)
When you combine this new deal with their pre-existing agreements to broadcast the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls, it looks like ESPN has a college football monopoly on all the major games. This means you're almost guaranteed to spend the first week of January with ESPN for the next fourteen years. Happy New Year's!