SI.com's Pete Thamel cited a source as saying that the Big East on Thursday "was scheduled to present ESPN the terms of its potential contract with NBC Sports." ESPN will have "a chance to match NBC Sports' offer, which a source confirmed is between" $20-23M per year for six years. ESPN has "seven days to responded to the terms" (SI.com, 2/14).
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS: In Houston, David Barron noted if Comcast SportsNet Houston "can't work a deal with Time Warner, the Astros become essentially irrelevant as they begin a daily competition with the Rangers for the hearts and minds of Texas baseball fans." The net is "in the midst of its 'I Want My CSN' campaign, but you can expect a harder-edged campaign as baseball season begins and as" MLS Dynamo games begin on the network. CSN Houston President & GM Matt Hutchings said, "People are demanding the channel. They say to get the deal done, and that is what we are asking. Every day, every minute, that is what we are working on" (CHRON.com, 2/14).
N.Y. STATE OF MIND: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez and his handlers should go to YES Network execs and "arrange an interview during which Rodriguez can tell his side of the story, whatever that might be, to Yankees fans." Rodriguez "doesn’t need the big '60 Minutes' moment," and YES provides a "totally different environment." Those watching it "are more accepting," as they come to "consume Yankee baseball and Yankee propaganda." Included in that audience "are plenty of A-Rod sympathizers." Raissman: "Does it do the Yankees, or YES, any good to turn A-Rod into a ghost when the network could keep viewers updated of his progress and do some image building in the process?" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/15).