A couple interesting items that encompass the forthcoming announcement:
- The conference does not have a TV partner for this tournament as it will be the first tournament under a new rights agreement. Currently the tournament is split between BTN, ESPN and CBS. BTN and ESPN split the first three days equally, then CBS has the semifinals and championship games. It would not surprise me though if the conference has been working with a future TV partner(s) on this tournament and the schedule surrounding it.
Let's say the tournament remains a Wednesday through Sunday event as the SI report mentions and BTN continues to split the first three games with another network. Would that network carry games in the afternoon & cede to BTN in the evening or vice-versa? The conference tournament would be concurrent with the final week of the regular season for most other conferences and, for example, ESPN has a fairly regular rotation of games on weeknights and FOX usually has Big East & Pac-12 games. Maybe BTN would take a larger role, much like both the Pac-12 and SEC Network have with their respective conference tournaments.
It wouldn't surprise me if the schedule changed. We should know more when the conference & MSG have an official announcement.
- The conference members are not 100% set to ending their regular seasons at the end of the tournament. There is nothing stopping any member from scheduling a game after the conference tournament, whether its Senior Day, a game to keep the team ready for the postseason or one to try to lift someone off the bubble. St. Mary's did this in both 2009 and 2011, but neither extra game was enough to lift them to an NCAA tournament at-large berth.
There are definitely signs pointing towards FOX on a few items, such as this and the new Gavitt Challenge (though the first two years would have ESPN as a potential telecast outlet). Whether it is to add content to BTN and in the process get content for a new media deal with the conference remains to be seen.
For now, this is only a one year deal. No locations beyond 2018 have been set.