The story is pitched as "first major sports event goes to cable," but for me the real information is in the size of the bids:
On Monday afternoon, current rights-holder Fox Sports notified the BCS Group that it wouldn't match an offer from ESPN for a rights package that will begin in 2011. Fox Sports is in the middle of a four-year deal for the BCS Championship as well as the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.
ESPN had offered $500 million for four years, compared to Fox Sports' $400 million. Even Fox's offer is still up compared to the current rights deal, which pays $330 million.
That's a 51.5% increase folks. Perhaps it's a sign that we'll avoid economic armageddon after all.