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Big East Network 'is definitely on the table'

Given the unparalleled success of the Big Ten Network over its first three years of operation, it would stand to reason that other conferences would look to create their own cash cow.

There’s been talk of the Big 12 and Pac-10 joining forces and forming a combined network.  Of course, Texas has talked of forming its own network, which would take some of the shine — and, presumably, revenue — off that two-league television deal.

Now, word comes that one of the most beleaguered conferences in the country is tossing around the notion of creating their own network as well.

Speaking at the league’s annual spring meetings, Big East commissioner John Marinatto revealed that, even as the Big East could find itself short a member or two or three depending on the whims of the Big Ten’s expansion plans, his conference has been exploring a path that could include traveling down the same road blazed by the league currently eyeballing some of its member institutions.

The league’s current TV deals with ESPN/ABC and CBS expire at the end of the 2012-2013 season.  After that?

“It [a Big East TV network] is definitely on the table,” Marinatto said according to Brett McMurphy of AOL Fanhouse. “It’s absolutely something we’re looking at.”

With that in mind, enter Paul Tagliabue.

The former NFL commissioner was hired by the conference on April 21 as a “Special Advisor”, and the press release trumpeting his addition stated that part of his job description would be to assess “the Conference’s collective strengths and opportunities, as well as the evolving landscape of broadcast television, cable and other subscriber-supported networks – national, regional or conference-based — and other new media opportunities.”

While he’s not attending the Ponte Vedra Beach meetings, he did take part in conference calls Monday.  Marinatto did not get into the specifics of what Tagliabue has brought to the table, but he did give a hint that the TV side is a big part of the former commish’s current equation.

“We’ve brainstormed [with Tagliabue], but there’s nothing I can share with you,” Marinatto said. “We want to come up with unique ways and creative ways of approaching all of the issues that we’re trying to approach. Valuing our assets, how we can capitalize on what we’ve created under the auspice of the Big East and the fact we represent 25 percent of the market places in the country.

“He [Tagliabue] has some ideas.”

For the conference’s sake, one of those ideas had better be a solid counterattack if/when Jim Delany starts plucking schools.

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Respond to “Big East Network 'is definitely on the table'”
  1. Pier588 says: May 25, 2010 11:54 AM

    Tags is positioning a tv network deal for the remaining “Big Easy” and ConfUSA teams. Having a TV deal already in place will be a big attraction for the MAC that they will be joining.

  2. Bious says: May 25, 2010 4:17 PM

    For basketball, it would be a huge money maker
    For football, it will be a dud

  3. CatsClaw says: May 25, 2010 6:12 PM

    Ummm Pier588 are you high on drugs I’m curious. First of all the “Big Easy” C-USA trash-talking is weak since it has been 6 years since the Big East expanded. And your last sentence makes absolutely no since. The TV deal would be a big attraction for the MAC? Who is joining the MAC? And what television deal are you talking about? And why would it be an attraction? You do realize that you can’t take a television deal with you right? So you’re saying that a Big East school would take a TV deal with them to the MAC, how is that possible? Please answer.

  4. CatsClaw says: May 25, 2010 6:14 PM

    I disagree about football being a “dud” for the Big East. It wouldn’t be the draw of the Big Ten but it would be a very strong draw. Basketball would be great of course, and the Olympic Sports would get great coverage. The Big East also has enough tradition to show classic games.

  5. 60eagles says: May 25, 2010 8:56 PM

    I hope that DirecTV carries the network. I love the Big Ten network. Great sports channel. I know I would love a Big East network. Anything to get away from ESPN. I’m from Penn State. They (Big Ten Network) carry sports that ESPN does not even broadcast the results. Big Ten volleyball, men and women, soccer, men and women, ice hockey, gymnastics and on and on. And yes, I root for all the Big Ten teams.

  6. burntorangehorn says: May 25, 2010 9:32 PM

    The Big East Network: it’s like UPN for sports.

  7. Pier588 says: May 27, 2010 2:59 PM

    CatSlaw – you’re wrong – as well as being the one on the hippie lettuce – if you think the “BIG EASY” is still a viable BcS conference. Joining the MAC is the only place they’ll have to go after the “BIG EASY” and ConFUSA are picked clean of any remaining, desirable schools like Rutgers and ‘Cuse, maybe South Florida now that Holtz is there – to the expanded Big Ten, SEC and Big 12. My opinion is just that – if you disagree – screw you and any opinion you have on anything.
    The MAC will be happy to sweep up the 3-4 remnants of the “BIG EASY” (a conference that has thoroughly sucked dead horse shit since all the good schools left for the Awful College (football) Conference). Add them to the remainder of ConFUSA and coupled with the rest of the MAC schools – they can form their very own super conference.
    Just because the all knowing “CatSlaw” writes an opinion on CFT doesn’t make it so – get over yourself. How the hell would you know the terms of the TV deal anyway – are you the “Big Easy” lawyer doing the TV negotiations or something? If not – all you have is another opinion on how you “THINK” things will be/turn out. Maybe you THINK you have a leg up by using your crystal ball to absolutely KNOW the future?
    “The Big East also has enough tradition to show classic games.”
    LMAO – The “Big Easy” also has Noter Dame in basketball but won’t make them be part of the conference in football. How stupid is that for the mythical stellar league you are describing?
    With no Noter Dame in football for the “Big Easy” – that one simple fact says all that anyone with half a brain needs to know about how the “Big Easy” has conducted it business – lamely. First by letting their good schools jump ship; second by thinking they are still at the same level of competition after the jump. Hence – the “Big Easy” and the MAC schools are very comparable with the edge going to the MAC (including the Noter Dame non-football factor).

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