The Army-Navy football rivalry will remain in its current television home until at least 2028 thanks to an agreement between the service academies and CBS Sports announced Thursday.
Terms weren't disclosed for the 10-year deal, which goes into effect after the current contract expires in 2018. Sources told Forbes that the current deal, inked in 2008, costs the network about $5 million a year, leading the financial publication in 2012 to label it "The most undervalued television deal in sports."
In 2009, the game moved to its new home on the second Saturday of December, making it the only top-tier college football contest on the schedule that day. The shift "allowed us to further shine a spotlight on Army-Navy, as we tell the compelling stories on and off the field of the young people at the service academies," said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, in a news release announcing the deal.
"Army-Navy is a cornerstone of our college football programming and we could not be more proud to continue this relationship," he said.
The most recent game, in which Army West Point ended Navy's 14-year win streak, was the rivalry's most-watched contest in 24 years, per the release. With nearly 8 million viewers, it was one of the year's most-watched regular-season college football contests and drew more viewers than either the Pac-12 or Atlantic Coast Conference championship games.
The deal preserves special pre-game and digital coverage of the rivalry, per the release, as well as CBS Sports' rights to the Army-Navy basketball series.
The rivalry's 118th matchup will air on CBS live from Philadelphia on Dec. 9.
Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.