OT: ESPN and Big East close to TV deal

Submitted by the Glove on February 22nd, 2013 at 2:31 PM



It appears that the Big East and ESPN are close to completing a seven-year deal. The Big East's new media rights deal is actually worth less per school than its current ESPN deal and six times less than what ESPN presented two years ago. That will bring the Big East's total media rights value to about $22 million annually, starting in 2014 and, based on a 12-team league, worth about $1.8 million per school annually.

…ouch, the positive for the conference is that they at least have seven more years of existence. Well, until the ACC comes with the deathblow by taking more of their teams.  




February 22nd, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

The Big East is actually a pretty stable entity now.  If the ACC needs to borrow Cincy and UConn then it will do so, but there aren't any more deathblows in the Big East's future.  It's just a southern-oriented conference now, and if it has to replace more members then there's a very large pool to choose from that won't affect the new character of the conference any.

the Glove

February 22nd, 2013 at 4:34 PM ^

They're about as stable as Conference USA now. With Boise State and San Diego State not coming now and the ACC inevitably taking Cincinnati and possibly UConn (depending on if there is actually a secret agreement with Boston College that the ACC will not allow them.) It just seems as if they're on shaky ground, especially with losing the 6 Catholic schools. As someone else stated before, a SMU and Houston football and basketball game on exactly that appealing, but they're about the biggest rivalry the conference has now.


February 22nd, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

I think shakey ground is somewhat relative.  As you mention the other teams that the other 'BCS' conferences might consider poaching are UConn and Cincy.  The Big East is what it is now - a mid-major conference where the only real worry is whether teams are going to jump ship to another mid major conference.  The pillaging of the Big East by other BCS conferences is pretty much done.


February 22nd, 2013 at 6:02 PM ^

Even if for some reason some conference decides to poach one of their schools, and I can't imagine this happening very soon outside of Cincy or UConn, whoever the replacement is won't be any worse than the school that left.  Whatever movement is left for the Big East, it can't get any worse, thus it's fairly stable.


February 22nd, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

Because they're not actually dead yet, and until they are, they'll still be playing football.  ESPN isn't paying them much at all.  They'll get the occasional Cinci-UConn Thursday night game and maybe a good Boise St - USF or something.  There won't be many great matchups, but a few good ones.  For ESPN, 22 mil a year is pocket change. 


February 22nd, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

can the bigEast just be a tuesday/wednesday only conference? that would be a way to get themselves a ton of exposure. they could have 2 games tuesday night, 2 games wednesday, that is 8 team a week, maybe even go to three games a night if they really include some of the other random boise schools.


February 22nd, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

"In 2011, ESPN offered a new nine-year deal to the Big East worth $1.17 billion or an average of $130 million annually. However, the Big East's presidents voted to turn down the deal that would have earned football members nearly $14 million a year."

As I recall, one of Notre Dame's lasting legacies in the Big East was being a vote in the negative for this deal actually. Then again, I also seem to remember that John Marinatto told the Boston Globe in an interview back around this time that believed he might get a better offer from NBC or Fox Sports. After all, why have revenue only somewhat less than the more influential conferences (for now anyway) when you could turn down that deal and make slightly more than the Mountain West or Conference USA?


February 22nd, 2013 at 4:47 PM ^

Should the NCAA have more control over the conferences?  Or at least the BCS ones?  It's weird to me that the NCAA doesn't seem to have any issue with individual conferences and even schools signing their own TV deals, whereas this would never be allowed in professional sports.  (Imagine an NFC East Network in the NFL, or Pacific Division Network in the NBA.)  It's funny that in "amateur" sports you can do this.





February 22nd, 2013 at 5:14 PM ^

They are also still tremendously solid in basketball.  At leat until the nonfootball Jesuit schools that form the core of the basketball league (Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova) spinoff and create their own league.


February 22nd, 2013 at 6:18 PM ^

I don't know if I'd go that far.  Solid - yeah.  Tremendously solid - I don't know.  Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville and ND are getting ready to leave for the ACC.  Not including whatever new schools are coming in your Big East bball even with the catholic schools is going to be:





St. John's





Seton Hall

South Florida


Losing Syracuse, ND, Pitt and Louisville is going to be a big blow.  That's 4 teams that are generally in the upper half of the Big East standings year in and year out.