To ensure that all qualified media agencies have the appropriate access, these policies have been developed by the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision commissioners, the Notre Dame athletics director and the BCS bowl games. The policies will be strictly enforced at the BCS National Championship Game. At the other BCS bowl games, the bowl media director may authorize additional credentials for all areas except the sidelines, if space allows.
Requests for all working media credentials for all Bowl Championship Series games shall be directed to the host media director. The deadline for applying is the second Friday after selection Sunday.
A "press agency" for purposes of these criteria shall mean a daily or weekly publication, cable system, radio or television station or network having a legitimate working function and requiring immediate news coverage. "Immediate news coverage" for purposes of these criteria shall mean that the editorial, audio and/or visual deadline for the bowl game action being documented occurs no later than six days after the competition at the site has been completed.
A press agency or television or radio station in the bowl's immediate geographic area that has staffed Division I college football games on a regular basis throughout the season and does not otherwise meet the criteria may be designated as a "minority media enterprise." A "minority media enterprise" shall mean a business enterprise involved in the dissemination of college football news on a weekly basis or more frequently to audiences from ethnically, socially or culturally diverse backgrounds. Such audiences include, but are not limited to, African Americans, non-English speaking Americans and Native-American Indians. Such minority media enterprises may receive one media credential if space is available.
Each application will stand on its merits for each particular bowl game. Membership in a writers or broadcasters association does not automatically qualify an agency or individual for credentials. Having been credentialed for other bowl games does not automatically qualify an agency or individual for credentials.
An individual holding a credential must adhere to the terms and conditions of the BCS credential and is subject to removal from the stadium for violating BCS credential policies.
Except for television camera operators, a credential may be issued only to an authorized full-time, salaried representative of, or a representative who regularly and customarily performs services for, the agency submitting the request. Credentials are not transferable.
Credential requests will be considered only if they are submitted by the sports editor, by the sports director/producer or by the photo editor.
Subject to limitations of space and at the host media director's discretion, credentials at all sites shall be assigned in accordance with the following policies.
1. A daily agency with circulation greater than 50,000, a weekly with circulation greater than 500,000 or a monthly with circulation greater than 750,000 will be identified as "national media" and will qualify for credentials. Press agencies may receive credentials according to the following circulation requirements:
Weekly Circulation Credentials
Monthly Circulation Credentials
An agency that has covered all of a participating institution's regular-season games will be entitled to additional seats if space is available.
2. An agency that does not meet Criterion No. 1 qualifies for credentials if a full-time staff member has covered all of the participating institution's regular-season games. Such an agency can receive one more than the number of credentials it used for a majority of the institution's regular-season games, plus additional seats if space is available.
A publication whose primary purpose is the coverage of college football and does not meet the criteria listed above may be eligible for one credential at the discretion of the host bowl's media director.
3. The Associated Press and the primary newspaper(s) that provide daily coverage at the site of the bowl game may receive a maximum of eight seats.
4. At the media director's discretion, a maximum of two credentials may be issued to reporters representing the non-sports side of the major newspaper that covers all regular-season games of the participating institution.
5. At the media director's discretion, a maximum of two credentials may be issued to reporters representing the non-sports side of the major newspaper in the host city.
6. Credentials may be issued to a maximum of three individuals certified by the director of athletics or designated representative of each participating institution, who will be the sole representatives of all media organizations affiliated with such institution (e.g., student newspaper, yearbook, alumni magazine) and all media organizations whose coverage primarily is directed at such institution and its activities.
Subject to limitations of space, credentials for photo staff members shall be assigned to agencies requiring immediate news coverage in accordance with the following priorities:
2. Each institution's athletics department may be represented by a maximum of three photographers.
3. The primary press agencies at the host site of a Bowl Championship Series game that cover college football on a regular basis may receive a maximum of four credentials.
4. The Associated Press may receive a maximum of 12 credentials for photographers. Sports Illustrated and USA Today each may receive a maximum of six credentials. Reuters, Getty, Icon, Cal Sports Media and US Presswire may receive a maximum of four credentials at the discretion of the host media director. The Sporting News and ESPN The Magazine may receive a maximum of three credentials.
5. A press agency with a minimum daily circulation of 350,000, a weekly circulation of 500,000, or a monthly circulation of one million may receive one credential.
6. A participating institution may receive a total of four credentials for media/photo agencies that do not meet the minimum daily or weekly circulation requirements. These agencies shall be certified by the director of athletics or designated representative of the participating institution to have staffed at least 80 percent of its games throughout the season.
7. A publication whose primary purpose is the coverage of college football and does not meet the criteria listed above may be eligible for one credential at the discretion of the host media director.
8. For access to the sidelines, photographers must wear vests provided by the bowl.
1. A television station or regional cable network from the locale of a Bowl Championship Series game may be represented by a maximum of two crews.
2. A television station from the locale of the participating institution, which has staffed all of its regular-season games, may be represented by a maximum of two crews.
3. A regional cable network from the locale of the participating institution, which has staffed all of its regular-season games, or a conference's television network (e.g., Big Ten Network; The Mountain) may be entitled to be represented by a maximum of two crews, plus a third crew may be issued limited-access credentials at the discretion of the host media director.
4. A regional cable network that airs a nightly sports show and covers all of a team's games during the regular season may be represented by one crew.
5. Each division (i.e., the sports, news, entertainment and affiliate divisions) from a national television network or cable system that originates a daily sports news program (e.g., Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, CNN) may be represented by one crew. The NFL Network may be represented by one crew.
6. A television station in a market area estimated to have a minimum of one million U.S. television households the previous year by the A.C. Nielsen Company may be represented by one crew.
7. At the discretion of the host media director, no more than two credentials may be authorized to other news services that have news and sports programming.
8. Each participating institution may be represented by a maximum of one crew for a "coach's show."
A crew is defined as no more than four individuals, including one camera operator.
1. A maximum of two credentials (one media and one limited access) may be assigned to a radio station in a market area representing at least one million radio homes that regularly covers college football games and has a daily "sports talk" program.
2. Two credentials may be assigned to a radio station in the geographic area of the bowl city that regularly covers college football games (i.e., full-time staff members attend games and file reports) and airs six or more sports reports each day.
3. Two credentials may be assigned to a radio station in the geographic area of a participating team that covers college football games (i.e., full-time staff members attend games and file reports) at least 90 percent of a participating institution's home games and airs six or more sports reports each day.
4. One media credential may be assigned to each of the following radio entities: American Forces Radio, ABC, AP, CBS, CNN Radio, Echlin Sports Service, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, NBC, National Public Radio, Sirius/XM, Sporting News Radio, Sports Byline USA, USA Radio Network, Voice of America, and Westwood One.
5. A radio network that will originate a live play-by-play broadcast is entitled to the number of individuals it used to originate games during the most recently completed regular season. Entities that produce national radio broadcasts under rights assigned through the national television rightsholder shall be limited to a maximum of eight credentials.
1. A maximum of two credentials may be issued to the BCS web site.
2. Credential(s) may be issued to an online agency that (1) registers at least one million unique users per month in each of the 12 months before the game and (2) covers college football daily.
3. The official web site of a competing institution, as designated by the school's sports information director, may receive a maximum of two credentials in addition to the institution's credentials noted elsewhere in this policy.
4. The official web site of a competing conference, as designated by the conference's sports information director, may receive a maximum of two credentials in addition to the conference's credentials noted elsewhere in this policy.
5. A print, radio or television agency will not receive more credentials than the number provided for elsewhere in this document. An agency may allot one (or more) of its credentials to its online entity.
6. If space is available, an online entity that does not meet the other criteria herein may qualify for credentials if a full-time staff member has covered all of the participating institution's regular-season games. Such credential may be issued only to a full-time staff member.
7. An online entity may receive a credential only if its own full-time staff members write an overwhelming percentage of that site's material.
8. Online entities will not receive during-game field access.
9. An online service that is recognized as an outlet intended primarily for the purpose of delivering news related to the recruitment of student-athletes does not qualify for credentials.
When space is available, credentials will be issued to a full-time, salaried employee or a representative who regularly and customarily performs services for:
1. A newspaper that has a minimum circulation of five percent of the total population of the country;
2. A specialty publication that has a minimum circulation of one percent of the total population of the country;
3. The official publication of the country's organization for governance of "American football";
4. A television station that has a signal reaching 25 percent of the homes in the country;
5. Each of the two largest sports networks in the country.
Each of the media agencies above may also be assigned a photography position at the discretion of the host media director.
Credentials shall not be issued to the following:
1. Persons solely for the purpose of writing or gathering material for books;
2. Representatives of syndicated television or cable programmers who are not producing programs for immediate news coverage (i.e., to air within 24 hours);
3. Telephone reporting services;
4. Entities normally identified as "tout sheets," and other publications devoted solely to gambling;
5. Scouts from professional teams; (Instead, the bowls will offer to sell tickets to the professional league office if requested and if tickets are available, with the understanding that the professional league will distribute the tickets to the teams as it wishes.)
6. Agencies that normally provide specific services for a media agency (e.g., scores) if many of its clients have been accredited to staff the event.
7. Online entities not specifically referenced herein.