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Big East, ESPN agree to new TV deal

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The Big East has been out on the open market for the past several months with the hopes of landing a new television deal. Earlier this month, it was reported that NBC Sports Network had offered the conference upwards of $23 million annually to obtain those TV rights.

To put that into context, the Big East turned down an offer less than two years ago worth $1.17 billion — or, about $130 million annually —  from ESPN.

Since ESPN is currently the conference’s primary rights holder, it had one week to match NBC’s offer. It’s done so, and both the Big East and ESPN confirmed Saturday the two sides are moving toward a deal worth $130 million over seven years through 2019-20 school year.  The conference’s presidents are expected to vote, and approve, the deal as soon as Monday.

The deal will include six years of coverage for football (2014-20) — the Big East’s current deal with ESPN for football ends after the 2013 season — and the total media rights value for a 12-team league will be about $22 million — roughly $1.8 million per school annually.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse are leaving the Big East this year for the ACC with Rutgers departing for the Big Ten next year.  Slated to join the Big East in 2013 are Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF.  Tulane and East Carolina are expected to join the Big East in 2014, with Navy joining as a football-only member in 2015.

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11 Responses to “Big East, ESPN agree to new TV deal”
  1. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 23, 2013 4:00 PM


  2. catfanatic1979v1 says: Feb 23, 2013 4:13 PM

    The MWC, Big East and CUSA are all pretty much on par with one another now.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Feb 23, 2013 5:26 PM

    Wow, what a waste of money. They would have been better off make a deal with a lower division conference. At least the competition would be worth watching. Oh, wait, the Big Least is a lower division conference.

  4. spreadthecheese says: Feb 23, 2013 6:05 PM

    And the nation can’t wait to see Temple’s games on ESPN…

  5. imaduffer says: Feb 23, 2013 7:46 PM

    Boise State decides it want to be reinstated to the Big East.

  6. lbijake says: Feb 23, 2013 10:50 PM

    Feb 23, 2013 6:05 PM
    And the nation can’t wait to see Temple’s games on ESPN…


    Temple still plays football????

  7. tommy57 says: Feb 23, 2013 11:20 PM

    From a business point of view, I think the Big East is more of a basketball conference and I would have spent the money for rights to present basketball, not football.

  8. tendigitpoet says: Feb 24, 2013 6:53 AM

    As BcS conferences go, the Big East is a DCW — a dead conference walking.

  9. pastabelly says: Feb 24, 2013 10:49 AM

    If the Big East had signed that deal a couple of years ago with ESPN, they never would have collected on it. They would be in breach because what they call “The Big East” in no way resembles the real Big East, which is the ACC North.

  10. spydey629 says: Feb 25, 2013 8:36 AM

    NBC/Comcast screwed the pooch on this one. The Big Least is admittedly no where near what it once (ever?) was, but they could/should have poisoned pill this that ESPN would’ve never matched the deal.

    That said, I don’t know for sure if ESPN had to match all terms of the deal, or just money. If it was all terms, NBC needed to offer a guaranteed Saturday at noon game on NBC, not NBCSN. Becomes a built-in double-header with the Big East and Notre Dame every week… ESPN would never agree to a guaranteed Big East game on ABC week-in, week-out.

    (I’m talking out my rear on this though, becuase I have no idea what the details of either offer were, other than the money)

  11. fahmundamahbalsaq says: Feb 26, 2013 5:00 AM

    I’m embarrassed I even read an article about Big East football.

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