Sources: Big East's Deal With NBC Sports Network Likely To Be Announced Soon
The Big East's proposed six-year contract with NBC Sports Network for its media rights will "likely be announced within the next two weeks," according to sources cited by Ralph Russo of the AP. Sources said that the deal will "pay the conference" about $20M per year. However, the Big East first has to "go through the process of allowing ESPN, which currently holds the conference's football TV rights, to match the offer." The proposed deal would allow NBCSN to "move some Big East games to other networks." The Big East's current football deal with ESPN "expires after the 2013 season and has paid football members about" $3.1M per year. The deal in the works would pay members about $2M per year, "depending upon whether the league has 11 or 12 members" (AP, 2/12). In a special to USA TODAY, Mark Blaudschun notes although the "initial money from NBC for the Big East is low," the deal would be "only six years in length and open to renegotiation, with the hope that early exposure and success would create a bigger market" (USA TODAY, 2/13).
FANS PAC-KIN' IT IN EARLY? In Seattle, Bud Withers notes there is a chance Pac-12 men's basketball attendance figures are being "affected by the new TV-driven, bizarro-world of Wednesday-night games, 6 p.m. tipoffs and Sunday-night dates." However, it is "difficult to draw sweeping conclusions." Six schools' average attendance numbers are "up over 2011-12, six are down." Withers: "You can spin this in a variety of ways. You could say that given all the new accommodations to TV, and all the conveniences to fans' traditional habits, these are mild shifts" (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/13).