Officials from Electronic Arts have announced that the company has signed a six year exclusive agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) that will grant the publisher exclusive rights to the NCAA teams, stadiums and schools for use in its college football video games.
The agreement is for all video game consoles, including online features and handheld devices. The first title under the new contract will be NCAA Football 2006
, which is due to be released this summer.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but are not expected to have been anywhere near the huge sum paid for the exclusive NFL license, since the NCAA games are not sold internationally and, as of last year at least, Electronic Arts was the only company to publish a college football game. Even so, the giant publisher still managed to sell over 1 million copies of NCAA Football 2005
The move might be seen as a further block to Take Two Interactive, who Electronic Arts may have been imagining would seek to use the NCAA license after losing both the NFL and ESPN rights to EA in the last few months.
"Our NCAA football franchise is a key element in our EA Sports brand line-up and we are pleased to have secured the NCAA license," said Jeff Karp, Group Vice President of Marketing for Electronic Arts. "There is an unrivaled loyalty our fans have for the game, and this agreement with CLC allows EA to continue to deliver to fans the best, most innovative college football experience now and for years to come."