The Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Futterman is reporting Fox Sports has bowed out of the bidding war with ESPN for the rights to the Bowl Championship Series contests running from 2011-2014.

“Even with today’s vast economic uncertainties, Fox Sports made a very competitive bid to keep broadcasting BCS games free to every home in America, one that included a substantial rights fee increase, and certainly as much as any over-the-air network could responsibly risk. Unfortunately, the university presidents and BCS commissioners were not satisfied and they’ve decided to take their jewel events to pay television,” Lou D’Ermilio, a spokesman for Fox, said in a statement.

With Fox bowing out, ESPN in all likelihood becomes the broadcaster of the national championship game, as well as the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls. It also opens the door for the Rose Bowl to move from ABC to ESPN, which are both units of Walt Disney Co.

Sports Business Daily‘s John Ourand wrote last week the BCS was seeking a 50% increase on their current $82 million per year pact with Fox.