By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
March 22, 2013
The new Big East Conference, formerly known as the Catholic 7, has reached a 12-year, $500 million TV rights deal with Fox Sports. The deal’s value could increase to $600 million if the conference eventually expands to 12 teams from the 10 teams it’s planning to begin with. Big East games figure to be a primary component of Fox Sports 1’s programming when the new channel launches later this year. The new Big East TV deal averages more than $40 million per season despite the conference not having any football teams.
Meanwhile, what’s left of the original Big East officially signed a seven-year, $126 million TV rights agreement with ESPN, which averages out to just $18 million per year. The new agreement is significantly less than the nine-year, $1.17 billion contract ESPN offer the Big East in 2011. It’s hard to imagine how much different the college sports landscape would be today had the Big East taken the offer.