I believe this is going to be a two horse race, if the conference gets to open bidding on its rights and that would be my preference as it worked for the ACC and Pac-12. ESPN and Comcast would be the two entities.
The 1st item to take care of is the financials. At a minimum, my goal would be to make sure each football playing member makes $11 million and each basketball school makes $3 million from TV. Based on my earlier projects of the current deal, that would get the football schools a 2.75x increase in revenue and the basketball schools nearly the same proportional increase. In total, that would mean that Big East should start their negotiations at $123 million.
Now to stay ESPN and CBS for the packages they currently have, I don't need many changes with men's basketball. Give me the same amount of games on ESPN/ESPN2 and CBS in both packages.
- Up the number of regular season games on ESPN/ESPN2 from 49 to 53 to account for TCU's addition
- Of those 53, 45 should be conference games on ESPN/ESPN2
- An increase of one conference games on CBS
- The ability to consider moving the men's basketball tournament back a day for the possibility of the final on ABC in a doubleheader with the SEC final.
- ESPNU remains the same at 30
- No ESPN3.com exclusives
- ABC picks up eight Big East games per year.
- One of those must be on Black Friday, another should be the final week of the season.
- Six of the games must be conference games.
- One game in primetime per year
- ESPN/ESPN2 takes fifteen games in this fashion
- Three Thursday night games
- Four Friday night games, with at least two of them in doubleheaders with the Pac-12. One of these games must also be a Black Friday game
- At least one game on the final week of the season
- One game on Sunday or Monday of Labor Day weekend
- At least five games September-November on Saturdays, with one in primetime
- 12 of the 15 games must be conference games
- ESPNU takes three games, less than previous years
- Seven games
- Three doubleheaders with Notre Dame at a minimum
- Of the seven games, five must be conference games
- One of the games must be on Black Friday as a doubleheader with the NHL's Black Friday game
- NBC windows are exclusive
- 20 games
- Three Thursday games
- No Friday games
- Five primetime games
- 17 of the games should be conference games.
- Removal of the SEC regional football package from the New York City market, currently on MSG Network
- Addition of the the Big East regional packages in Houston and San Antonio (if they aren't already), in addition to the Dallas market for TCU
My thought is that though revenue through the conference package is variable based on interest of a game, many schools have media production departments and the overhead to make money on these games should be minimal. It does put the onus on the conference and member schools to properly market these packages. This should allow those schools to generate additional revenues that could put them right near the ACC in terms of TV revenues if the conference receives its minimum revenue targets, plus they have the flexibility to sell the conference-owned package at any time to a partner to produce and market if the conference desires to do that.
Since ESPN has been the primary partner of the conference, I think they have the best shot at keeping the Big East rights. Comcast is there, and they are hungry and would make the conference its showcase for football. But I believe that the conference has to take control of its own destiny with the games that ESPN Regional currently owns and find ways to create new revenue streams.