What is left of the Big East conference has a verbal offer from NBC for the conference's TV rights for all sports. And it is rather unfortunate.
Two people familiar with the deal say the conference is closing in on a six-year contract with NBC Sports Network for football and basketball rights that will pay members around $20 million per year.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because negotiations weren't being made public.
That first sentence reads a bit funny so I'll clarify for you here. The Big East is closing in on a six-year contract with NBC Sports Network for football and basketball rights that will pay $20 million per year. Not $20 million per program per year. Twenty million total. That works out to roughly $2 million a year per all sports member, which would be down $1.1 mil from the Big East's current football deal that expires in 2013.
Many schools from the five power conferences earn as much TV money per year as the entire Big East conference. Hard to imagine schools competing at a high level while earning 1/10 of what the Big Five schools are making annually.
To make matters worse, the Catholic 7 are reportedly going to land $30-40 million a year from Fox for the newly formed conferences basketball rights. That works out to roughly $3 million a year, $1 million more than Big East members will earn for basketball and football combined. Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, TCU, Rutgers, Louisville are laughing all the way to the bank. So is Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, Seton Hall, Providence, DePaul, Marquette and even Boise State and San Diego State.
Want to know the most Big East part of the story? The conference turned down a nine-year, $1.17 billion deal from ESPN a few years ago.