ESPN is reporting that SportsBusinessDaily.com reports that the league and ESPN are in talks to extend their media deal (Seriously, how convoluted of a corporation do you have to be where you have to report on someone else reporting on you?).
That current deal runs out in 2013 and the Big East are looking to cash in on the next round:
ESPN currently pays the Big East an average of $36 million annually as part of a six-year contract for all of its sports. While initial numbers being floated may not be as rich as the ESPN/ACC deal that was struck last spring, it would still mark a major boost for the 16-team conference.
Sources indicate the early numbers range from $110 million to $130 million annually, but conference sources describe those figures as a starting point for any negotiation. The initial offer would fall short of the $155 million annual payout the ACC will receive from ESPN in a deal that kicks in this summer. But the bold push by ESPN shows the network wants to lock down college rights in the face of increasing competition.
According to the report, the conference is divided on whether or not to keep talking to ESPN or take this deal to the open market.
Another week, another issue to divide the conference.
In case you're wondering about comparisons, Fox Sports pays the Big 12 $90 million just for football, ESPN pays the ACC about $155 million for both sports and the Pac-12 is looking for upwards of $200 million in their next deal.
With that kind of financial boost, I think you could probably put the kibosh on any conference realignment talks for schools like Syracuse, Pitt or Rutgers. At least for a while.Each school would roughly net out
In case you're wondering why schools like UCF want in to the Big East so desperately, Voodoo Five puts things in extremely stark perspective:
I haven't seen this expanded on from the SBJ article, but it might explain the desperation of a few teams to move up to the Big East from Conference USA. Did you see in the article how much Fox Sports recently agreed to pay out for C-USA TV rights? $42 million for five years. Not per year. $42 million total. With 12 all-sports members, that works out to exactly $700,000 per year, per school. They also have a little bit of money from CBS College Sports, but that is a pittance compared to what the Big East schools make right now, even before a new contract kicks in.