ESPN Regional Television has announced that they have acquired an ownership interest in the Texas Bowl starting in 2010. In addition, starting in 2010 the Bowl will match up a team from the Big 12 and the Big Ten, knocking out participants such as Navy, which is playing in this year's game (scheduled to kick off on ESPN in about 20 minutes).
Here is the press release issued yesterday by ESPN Regional Television.
ESPN Regional Television Partners with Texas Bowl
HOUSTON – ESPN Regional Television, Inc., a subsidiary of ESPN, have announced that ERT will partner with the Texas Bowl, effective at the conclusion of the 2009 Texas Bowl.
The Texas Bowl, which will continue to be played at Reliant Stadium, will feature a bowl-eligible team from the Big 12 Conference against one from the Big Ten Conference.
“We are excited to work with ESPN to take the Texas Bowl to an even higher level of performance for our community, our conference partners and the student athletes we serve,” said Heather Houston, Texas Bowl executive director. “ESPN brings a wealth of resources and experience that will help the Texas Bowl rapidly reach its full potential. We look forward to working with the professionals at ESPN on this exciting project and expanding our relationship with them in the years to come.”
The Texas Bowl was founded in 2006 and is Houston’s only collegiate bowl game. Through the past three years, the event has annually generated an average of $25 million in economic impact. The 2008 game featured Rice vs. Western Michigan and drew 58,880 fans, ranking it seventh among the most-attended non-BCS bowl games in the nation.
“The Big 12 is proud to partner with the Texas Bowl,” said Big 12 Conference Commissioner Dan Beebe. “The growth of and commitment to the Bowl by Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, ESPN and the Houston community has been phenomenal. The Conference and its member institutions appreciate the opportunity to have a postseason presence in Houston and look forward to building on the relationship with the Texas Bowl for years to come.”
“The Big Ten looks forward to facing the Big 12 in the Texas Bowl beginning in December 2010,” said Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany. “The Big Ten has played at least one postseason game in the state of Texas in every season since 1995, and we look forward to continuing that tradition in the city of Houston. With the number of Big Ten alumni in the state, playing a postseason game in Texas will provide another outstanding experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
“We are pleased to be working with LSSE on the Texas Bowl,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president & general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “Our bowl tie-ins combined with being in one of America’s best stadiums provides us a terrific opportunity to continue to grow and establish this game as a premier bowl event.”
Widely recognized as a model startup, the Texas Bowl earned the American Marketing Association’s “Crystal Award” in 2009 for Houston’s best special event. The successful launch of the Texas Bowl has also helped the game’s charity partner, DePelchin Children’s Center, by generating millions of dollars in media value and more than $200,000 to support the center’s important work with youth and families in the Houston area.
As part of ESPN’s popular Capital One Bowl Week, which features 23 bowl games from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2, the 2009 Texas Bowl will feature Navy vs. Missouri and will be televised live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT from Reliant Stadium.
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); Papajohns.com 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; ESPNU Road to the Championship (Women; San Antonio); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); SONIC All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters; as well as the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit ESPNPlus.com.
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE) is a sports management agency in Houston. LSSE promotes sports and entertainment events at Reliant Stadium and other venues in Houston, and has been a catalyst for some of Houston’s most significant sporting events. In 2006, LSSE led the successful launch of the Texas Bowl, now one of America’s leading collegiate bowl games. LSSE has hosted five of the six largest soccer crowds in Texas history featuring some of the finest players, clubs and national teams in the world. Outside of sports, LSSE has hosted block-buster musical acts like Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Sugarland and Keith Urban, among others.