/// ESPN Lands Cheapie Big East Rights Deal
ESPN has matched NBC Sports' bid for the media rights to the Big East Conference, and in so doing has secured its position as the league's primary rights holder. While neither party disclosed the value of the renewed package, sources with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal extends through the 2019-20 academic year and is worth a grand total of $130 million. The relatively picayune dollar amount throws into relief the devastation of realignment and the short-sighted avarice of Big East officials. Two years ago, ESPN offered the conference approximately 10 times that amount—$1.2 billion over the course of nine years, or roughly $130 million per annum. Thinking it could secure a better price on the open market, the Big East spurned ESPN's offer. Since that time, the Big East's very existence has been called into question. Original member and perennial basketball powerhouse Syracuse is decamping for the Atlantic Coast Conference, as are Pittsburgh and Louisville.
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ESPN Lands Cheapie Big East Rights Deal