East Conference LogosA big deal is brewing between the NBC television network and the Big East Conference.  Rumor has it that there is around $20 Million per year on the table for the broadcast rights for both football and basketball from the Big East.

The contract is reported to be for six years and will be a major source of income for the beleaguered conference.

The Big East must first go through the process of allowing ESPN, who currently holds the conferences football broadcast rights, to come up with a matching offer.

The deal being considered now would actually mean less money per year for the member universities.  Under the football deal with ESPN, each school was receiving $3.1 Million per year but with NBC they would only be receiving somewhere around $2 million per annum.  The deal with NBC would also allow the network to move some of the Big East games to other networks if it chooses.

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco has so far refused to confirm the agreement but was quoted as saying that his conference was in position to come away with a “wide range of exposure and branding opportunities.” “What we are trying to do is to build a solid foundation.”

Aresco took over the conference back in September and since then 12 schools have announced they intended to leave the Big East, including seven of the top basket ball schools that were the backbone of the conference.  They were also schools that do not play FBS football. These bold moves definitely put a hamper on the Big East’s ability to negotiate any kind of TV deal at all.  The moves also put an end to the plans to have a coast-to-coast football conference.

Aresco’s office has been negotiating a split with officials representing Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, DePaul, Providence and Marquette.  If you follow NCAA hoops at all, the names of these universities are up there with the biggest names in college hoops.

All of these schools, none of which have a football program, aim to set up a new basketball-centric conference but will all probably have to spend at least one more year with the Big East.

Meanwhile, Aresco is busy rebuilding his fractured conference and adding new teams from Conference USA. “We have a lot of untapped potential,” he said. “We have teams that are investing in athletics and they are all on the rise.”