The ACC - Big East marriage has been a rocky one for the Orange Bowl. The match-ups have been yawners and the television ratings dismal.
So with the might 4-letter taking over the BCS and relegating the Orange Bowl to basic cable, Fed Ex didn't see much bang for their buck so the company will not renew it's entitlement to the Orange Bowl.
ESPN was seeking $20 million annually for a four year commitment. Fed Ex passed.
The Orange Bowl used to be can't miss TV on New Years Day. Oklahoma or Nebraska would play someone (usually Florida State or Miami) for the national championship. The games turned into classics. The Nebraska - Miami Orange Bowl on New Years Day 1984 was one of the best college football games I ever saw.
(Thanks NBC Sports/Youtube.com)
Recently the Orange Bowl has become an afterthought of the BCS bowls. Here are the numbers during the ACC - Big East marriage:
2007 Louisville vs Wake Forest 7 Rating
2008 Kansas vs Virginia Tech 7.4 Rating
2009 Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati 5.4 Rating
2010 Georgia Tech vs Iowa 6.8 Rating
(All games broadcasted by Fox Sports)
(Source:Austin Karp, SportsBusiness Daily)
Fed Ex didn't want to commit more millions for diminishing returns no matter how many company logos are painted on the field.
Meanwhile the 4 - letter is actively shopping the Orange Bowl to any interested companies.