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Big East Media Rights Deal Expected To Be Much Less Than Expected; Should Boise State, San Diego State Reconsider

The Big East television deal is expected to be less than originally thought.

On Sept. 1 the Big East will enter an exclusive 60-day window to negotiate with their current media partner ESPN. That period is extremely important since last year the Big East turned down a nine-year deal worth $1.17 billion, an average of $130 million.

The logic to reject that would be that with the sky rocketing media rights deals that other leagues received the Big East thought they could do better, well that may not be the case anymore. The Big East is very much different this year than last year where they lost TCU, Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh; plus Louisville and Rutgers want out. The replacements are Boise State, San Diego State, Memphis and Navy in 2015; not exactly an upgrade there.

Projections for a new media deal had pegged to pay out Boise State and San Diego State approximately $6 - $10 million per year. Well ... that does not look like the case anymore.

Most thought that the Big East deal would be about the same, but CBS Sports is reporting that their sources are saying the deal could be less than half of last years deal:

Based on a future 14-member football league (in 2015, the Big East adds Navy as a football-only member and has plans to add a 14th school, preferably Air Force or BYU) and an 18-member basketball league, the media rights deal would be worth the following amounts per school annually:

A $130 million deal per year (as speculated by Pilson former CBS Sports president) would be worth $8.66 million each for the 10 full members; $6.5 million each for the four football-only members (Boise State, San Diego State, Navy and TBA); and $2.16 million each for the eight non-football members.

A $60 million deal per year (as speculated by's sources, slightly better than their low end) would be worth $4 million each for the 10 full members; $3 million each to the four football-only members; and $1 million each to the eight non-football members.

How things have changed $3 million is only just over $1 million more then what Mountain West schools currently make, so maybe it might have been a good idea for Boise State to accept the unequal revenue sharing and stay in the Mountain West.

It just depends which source is right in this situation, because if CBS Sports' sources are right then moving to the Big East may not be worth the hassle since the pay is not much more and then there is the hassle for Boise State still trying to find a home for their non-football sports.

There is still a silver lining for Boise State and San Diego State to earn more money, because if ESPN and the Big East can not reach a deal during their exclusive negotiating period expect Comcast/NBC and Fox to get involved to increase the rights deal.

Another problem with the Big East deal is that the football and basketball deals end at different periods. The basketball deal runs through the 2012-13 academic year; the football deal is through 2013-14, so that could cause some issues.

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