Report: Big East is near TV deal with CBS, ESPN

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

While the more-intriguing Catholic 7 continues to quietly get its ducks in a row and figure out which teams will join its league, the remaining posse in the Big East is close to closing a television deal. This news comes according to a report from info man Mark Blaudschun via everyone's favorite sports site that sounds like a Sopranos spin-off: ajerseyguy.com.

The Big East is reported to be nearing negotiations' end with CBS and ESPN. This makes sense given that Big East commissioner Mike Aresco left CBS last year to take over a Big East that was desperate for leadership.

And ever since Aresco has been there, you've seen what a war zone the league has remained (see: the break-off of the Catholic 7).

Here are the details, which are a bit quirky, from the linked report above.

Aresco and the Big East are close to finalizing a one-year deal in basketball using an 18-team model, which includes the Catholic 7 group of Big East schools who are expected to leave the conference following the 2013-2014 season and schools who are leaving for other conferences such as Notre Dame and Louisville (ACC) and Rutgers (Big Ten).

The package will include ESPN's Big East Big Monday time slots, the Big East tournament and a select games on CBS during the regular season.

In football, Aresco is selling a package of 10 teams for next season and 11 for 2014 and 12 for 2015. Aresco remains confident that the money for both sports will be “reasonable."

The details/terms of the deal have not been floated out there yet, so we're not sure what the remaining Big East programs stand to make and how long a commitment the networks will sign to in an ongoing climate of conference instability. And football, naturally, is a catalyst in all this as well. Whenever the deal gets done and the numbers become known, it will be interesting to see how much football drives the price compared to Big East basketball, which has undeniably suffered a massive downgrade.

A report from earlier this month noted the obvious primary motive for the Catholic 7's departure: a big payday awaits. Will those schools stand to make more than the reps from the Big East? We should have our answer in the near future.


For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the thrice-a-week podcast on iTunes. You can follow Matt Norlander on Twitter here: @MattNorlander.

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