It wasn't too long ago that ESPN swooped in to match NBC's offer to the current Big East, which will soon be the Yet To Be Named Conference Formerly Known As The Big East. Still with me? This is the one with UConn and Cincinnati and Tulane and stuff.
The network finally made it official yesterday. Brett McMurphy has the deal at 7 years for $126 million, or a paltry $18 million per year for the entire conference. To put that in perspective, Big Ten teams made $23.7 million per team just last year.
ESPN says it will make every football and men's basketball game available via a television or digital platform. This includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, and ESPNEWS and subilcensing games both regionally and perhaps nationally.
While this sounds like a good deal for whatever this conference is, the truth is that it's going to be hard for the YTBNCFKATBE to find any prime real estate on the ESPN family of networks. The only specifics given by ESPN are the men's basketball championship game being televised on ESPN or ABC and the women's basketball championship semifinals and finals being broadcasted on ESPN or ESPN2. That's it. There's nothing about any consistent timeslot in the regular season, which may be a worrying sign for these schools.
Furthermore, the ACC is primed to take the Big East's spot on ESPN's flagship college basketball night, Big Monday according to commish John Swofford.
#ACC commish John Swofford just told me the league will take over Big East's 7 p.m. time slot next season on ESPN's Big Monday.— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) March 16, 2013
Given the mere peanuts being offered to the YTBNCFKATBE, I'd imagine most of their games will be broadcast on the likes of ESPNU, ESPN3, and sublicensed than any significant airtime on the mothership.