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ESPN Cancels Two Potential Bowl Destinations For BYU In 2020 Season

Oct 2, 2020, 3:46 PM
Zach Wilson - BYU - Hawaii - Hawaii Bowl...
BYU vs. Hawaii in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – ESPN announced the cancellation of two football bowl games for the 2020 season, both of which were potentially postseason destinations for the BYU Cougars.

On Friday, October 2, the network said that The Bahamas Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl would not occur following the 2020 regular season “due to the current health pandemic and travel restrictions.”

“We are disappointed that we aren’t able to stage events at these premier destinations this year,” Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming & ESPN Events said in a statement. “We are committed to bringing both games back in 2021, and we thank our conference partners, sponsors and the local communities for their ongoing support and understanding.”

ESPN and BYU

In January, the Cougars and ESPN announced a new media rights deal as well as bowl game agreements. The home game television rights agreement was announced as a seven-year deal that runs through 2026.

“We have been fortunate to have an amazing relationship with ESPN for decades,” said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. “There is great collaboration because the relationship is truly a partnership and continues to get stronger every year. We are very grateful for all that ESPN does to support and promote BYU Athletics.”

Part of the agreement is for the Cougars to participate in an ESPN owned bowl in 2020, 2022 and 2024, provided the Cougars are bowl eligible in those seasons.

“BYU is a key component of our extensive college football media rights portfolio and we are pleased to continue the relationship well into the future,” Derzis said of the deal between ESPN and BYU in January. “The new agreement will build upon our last nine seasons, as we collectively work together showcasing the Cougars to a national audience and their extensive fan base.”

Bowl Game Agreements

For the 2020, 2022 and 2024 seasons, the bowl agreement provides an ESPN-owned postseason destination for the Cougars, if they are bowl eligible and not selected for a New Year’s Six bowl game.

As part of the agreement, the Cougars have an option to potentially participate in the Cheez-It Bowl in the event that the bowl’s contracted tie-ins (Big Ten and Big 12 conferences) are be unable to provide an opponent. The Cheez-It Bowl will also air on an ESPN network.

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