SBD/March 20, 2013/Media
Big East, ESPN Deal Worth Reported $126M Could End If Two More Schools Depart
Published March 20, 2013
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS OUT? Aresco said that the league “will not play home Monday or Tuesday football games but will schedule games on Thursdays and Fridays.” He said the league will be “very sensitive” regarding home scheduling for the Univ. of Houston and SMU to the potential for competition with Texas high school football games on Thursdays and Fridays and "will work with (schools) and our partners" on scheduling issues in Texas (CHRON.com, 3/19).
STEADY AS SHE GOES: CBSSPORTS.com’s Dennis Dodd reported Navy as part of the deal will “retain the television rights to its home and selected rivalry games.” Navy is “committed to joining” the new conference in ‘15 as a football-only member. However, it will “keep its home TV rights with CBS/CBS Sports Network” through ‘17. In addition, Navy's home game with Notre Dame will be televised on CBS in ‘14 and ‘16, “with an option” for ‘18. The Army-Navy game is “committed to CBS” through ‘18. A CBS spokesperson said that there “would be no comment, but pointed out that Navy's deal is part of an existing contract” (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/19).
PEACEFUL, EASY FEELING: Aresco yesterday dismissed media reports of member schools disagreeing about the division of revenue. He said, “Nothing could be further from the truth. There has been no infighting at all regarding distribution of money. ... We have a fair amount of revenue, some of which we would have preferred not to have gathered in, obviously, as some of it was the result of exit fees and that sort of thing. On the other hand, those revenues and other revenues in our conference will be equitably distributed and there has been no infighting at all. It has been a very cordial, very straightforward process” (Westney).
NAME GAME: Aresco said that the conference “should have a name by late April or early May,” and the process of “picking a brand is ongoing.” In Hartford, Paul Doyle notes Aresco “offered no candidates.” Aresco said, “We know we need to move expeditiously. We've been very deliberate about this. We have a process, we have branding groups we're working with. We've developed a process where we're going to obviously go through names that reflect what our conference is, what our conference wants to be, what we're aspiring to be” (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/20). Aresco said fans are “like a national focus group” for the renaming process. He added that the conference will work with ESPN on the rebranding. But he clarified it is “our decision” and ESPN has “never once asked us about a name” (Westney).