Future is bright, my friends.
Although the official announcement of a TV contract between the New Big East and Fox Sports is still a few weeks away, details are emerging about the HUGE numbers involved, as well as the strategy behind Fox pursuing basketball in a football-dominated world. The New York Times reports:
- Fox Sports 1 doesn't need football, but basketball is the cream of the old Big East, especially as Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Rutgers exit the conference.
- Basketball adds volume to Fox Sports 1 as it plans to make its debut Aug. 17 with as many as 90 million subscribers.
- The seven universities bring Fox history and rivalries, especially Georgetown, St. John's, Seton Hall and Providence, four of the original seven Big East teams, and Villanova. (Marquette and DePaul are the sixth and seventh programs.)
It's nice to know that someone out there is taking a rational and long-term approach towards sports content
, and not, you know, throwing millions of dollars at historically bottom-feeding and bankrupt programs
because of their location, or hoping two programs with no historical ties or student overlap will suddenly become heated rivals
, or thinking that by aligning yourself with other crappy
football programs you will become a superpower, or generally believing that any type of football content is worth ten times more than it was yesterday.
It is also being reported that Fox Sports will offer $500 million over 12 years for a 10-team league or $600 million over 12 years for a 12-team league. That nets out to over $4 million annually for members of the new conference, more than double what current Big East non-football playing schools are making. To put that in perspective, Fox Sports is offering over twice as much per school to members of the New Big East for basketball than ESPN is offering members of the America 12 for both basketball and football.
Retain rivalries - CHECK
Retain conference name - CHECK
Retain conference tournament at MSG - CHECK
More money - CHECK
Things are shaping up, my friends. I think the next step for the schools is to get all the coaches in a room to acknowledge that the future success of this league depends on their collective willingness to stick with the programs they current reside over. I want Brad Stevens to look John Thompson III in the eye and say that he is in the New Big East for the long-haul. I want Steve Lavin and Buzz Williams to agree that their current positions are not stepping stones. Heated rivalries among young, smart, and driven coaches is what made the old Big East great, and is the next step to ensuring the stability and relevance of our new conference.