TAMPA, FL - Outback Bowl officials have completed negotiations with its network partner ESPN with the announcement of an agreement to extend its contract for four additional years through the January 2014 game. As part of the new agreement, starting with the January 2011 Outback Bowl, the game will move its kick-off to 1:00 P.M. ET on New Year's Day in Tampa and be televised on ABC. The game had been televised on ESPN with an 11:00 AM start time.
Officials had previously announced four year extensions with title sponsor Outback Steakhouse and the Big Ten Conference. An announcement concerning the Southeastern Conference is expected next week.
"The Outback Bowl is one of our longest running and most valued relationships in our Capital One Bowl Week lineup," said Dave Brown, ESPN Vice President of Programming. "Jim McVay and his entire Outback Bowl team do a tremendous job of bringing us great SEC/Big 10 games and the Tampa Bay area is a great place to showcase college football. We look forward to having the Outback Bowl on ABC as an integral part of our SEC-Big 10 "roadblock" of three games in the early window on New Year's Day for the next four years".
"We are proud and thrilled to extend our relationship with our network partner ESPN for four additional years," noted Outback Bowl President/CEO Jim McVay. "We have been a part of their television family for eighteen years and they have been a critical component in the development of our New Year's Day game. They have been great partners and we are thrilled to announce the four year continuation of our relationship."
Extending this relationship, along with that of title sponsor Outback Steakhouse, ensures the Bowl will continue to benefit the Tampa Bay region each year through a $40 million annual economic impact and millions of dollars in exposure for the community.
The Outback Bowl generates more hotel room nights in the Tampa Bay area than any other annual event. The game is telecast nationally and internationally with 85 foreign countries airing the 2010 game.