In September, the Big East conference will begin negotiating a new television deal. All around them, their fellow BCS conferences have been signing billion-dollar television deals, such as the ACC’s deal with ESPN, the SEC’s deal with CBS, and the like. The Big East is a conference in flux, with TCU and West Virginia leaving for the Big 12 and Syracuse and Pitt leaving for the ACC next season; the Big East has a coast-to-coast network of replacement teams, but they need a war chest to keep competing. Hence, the Big East has named former CBS Vice President Mike Aresco as their commissioner.
Mike Aresco has no football experience outside of television negotiations. But, he’s the guy at CBS who landed the SEC, and they’ve hired sports media firm Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures, which is the company that helped the Pac-12 sign an impressive $3 billion dollar television contract. The Big East turned down a $1.4 billion offer to extend its deal with ESPN. Between Aresco’s television experience and Chris Bevilacqua’s negotiating prowess, as well as the spice of Boise State football, I think the Big East might have turned its terrible conference format–a coast-to-coast mash-up of teams with no real history–into a strength.
After all, there are potential Big East viewers in every corner of the country now, just waiting to be properly exploited.
Tags: college sports, big east, mike aresco, cbs, big east conference, mike aresco becomes big east commissioner, mike aresco leaves cbs for big east, sports, television, big east hires cbs vice president to be conference commissioner, big east football, television contracts, Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures, Chris Bevilacqua