TNT pivots to college football coverage in sublicensing deal with ESPN

TNT, college football
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

TNT may or may not be losing their rights to broadcast NBA games, but they are getting involved in college football broadcasts.

According to The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand, TNT Sports is adding College Football Playoff games to their TV broadcasting schedule, effective immediately. The change comes via a new five-year sublicensing agreement with ESPN.

Which college football games will TNT broadcast?

TNT Sports will now be able to show two first-round CFB Playoff games across the first two years of the contract. The final three years of the deal will see TNT broadcasting and streaming two first-round games plus two quarterfinals. More games could be added, too.

This agreement/negotiation does not impact TNT’s ongoing battle to try to secure their NBA rights, too. Marchand notes that the CFP contract would have happened no matter what.

The financial terms of TNT’s agreement with ESPN are not yet known, other than it being a five-year contract. Previous negotiations revealed roughly a $25 million value for each individual first-round game.

Oddly enough, these TNT games will still be produced by ESPN, and will even use the popular sports network’s broadcasters too.

TNT may even roll out its own pre-game coverage, such as “Inside the College Football Playoff,” similar to their current Inside the NBA coverage in pro basketball.

Related: TNT reveals final plans for Inside the NBA crew of Shaq, Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson

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