Cam Spencer UConn Big East Mar 14, 2024; New York City, NY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Cam Spencer (12) dribbles against the Xavier Musketeers during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Big East still has a year remaining on its media rights deals with Fox and CBS, but the conference is heading toward renewals with both.

Per Puck’s John Ourand, the Big East is “making a lot of progress” on renewing with its two incumbent partners.

But more interestingly, Ourand also reports that the Big East “is holding out one more package for a third media partner.” I’m sure we can throw the usual players (NBC, ESPN, maybe Scripps) into the mix there.

The Big East also has a deal with FloSports, covering women’s basketball and Olympic sports. That contract also runs through the 2024-25 season. That deal being absorbed by another media company, along with some men’s basketball inventory, makes sense on paper.

The Big East’s existing deal with Fox is a 12-year, $500 million pact signed when the conference split and reformed in 2013. The CBS deal, two different pacts renewed halfway through the Fox deal, brings 20 games (sublicensed from Fox) to CBS networks, including a minimum of four on the CBS broadcast network. That number is expected to increase in the new CBS deal with the Big East.

A year ago, the Big East began trending toward a renewal with Fox, and there never seemed to be any serious rumblings about the conference going anywhere else. The most interesting part is what that new contract will look like. Media rights deals for college conferences (excluding the Pac-12) have spiked since the Big East signed its deal over a decade ago, but without football, the Big East is an outlier from the likes of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC.

The current deal only pays out around $4 million per school annually, a startlingly low amount when compared to power conference schools. The Pac-12 fell apart in part due to a proposed media rights deal with Apple that paid each school $25 million annually. The football-free Big East naturally won’t be getting that much, but some sort of increase has to be in the cards.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.