Bowl Renews Agreements with Southeastern Conference, BIG EAST Conference, includes Access for Conference USA.

College FootballFootball Bowl Renews Agreements with Southeastern Conference, BIG EAST Conference, includes Access for Conference USA.

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ESPN Regional Television announced today that the Southeastern Conference and the Big East have reached four-year agreements to continue their participation in the Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., through the 2013 college football season. The Bowl has also entered into a contingency agreement with Conference USA that will provide potential access for a C-USA team. The new agreements continue to provide the bowl game with quality matchups with leagues having geographic and historical ties to Birmingham. 

Also, the bowl has reached agreements with both the MAC and the Sun Belt to provide teams should there be an opportunity. The MAC will serve as the primary backup during the four year term, while the Sun Belt has a one year agreement to provide a team based on geographic qualifications. 

“We are excited about extending our commitment to the outstanding football fans in the greater Birmingham area,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president & general manager, ERT. 

The fifth annual Bowl, will be played at Legion Field on Saturday, Jan. 8. Kickoff is set for noon ET and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Last season, more than 45,000 fans saw Connecticut defeat South Carolina 20-7. 

“The Southeastern Conference is pleased to continue its relationship with the Bowl,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “The city of Birmingham, the bowl staff and the many volunteers that support the bowl have helped create a tremendous atmosphere for college football. College football fans around the city of Birmingham are known for their passion for college football and the SEC, and the Bowl gives fans a chance to support an SEC team in a quality postseason bowl setting.” 

The BIG EAST is a charter participant in the Papajohn’ Bowl, having provided a team each year since the inaugural game in 2006. The BIG EAST boasts a 4-0 record in the Bowl. 

“We’re very excited to extend our relationship with the Bowl,” said BIG EAST Conference Commissioner John Marinatto. “Our teams have had wonderful experiences in Birmingham and the bowl continues to grow each year. With the support of ESPN, a great local organizing committee in Birmingham and the ability to play an opponent from the Southeastern Conference, the BIG EAST is proud to be a part of the game.” 

About ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC). 

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Texas Bowl (Houston); the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Cancun Governor’s Cup; Charleston Classic (S.C.); DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tipoff (San Juan); SONIC All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters; as well as the new ESPNU Warrior Classic (Lacrosse) and the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit

-30- Bowl Media Contact: Norm Reilly at 205-936-1793 or [email protected]
ESPN Media Contact: Jenny Zimmerman at 407-566-2213 or [email protected]

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