• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
    days
  • -
    hours
  • -
    minutes
  • -
    seconds

The Biggest Takeaways From 2023 Big East Media Day

  • The Big East has not been impacted by the seismic wave of realignment over the summer — and is now dealing from a position of strength.
  • The conference is gearing up to negotiate a new media rights deal in the winter, and hopes to continue its relationship with Fox.
The Big East is dealing from a position of strength.
Amanda Christovich – FOS

NEW YORK — In 2013, football-centric conference realignment tore the Big East apart. There was plenty of skepticism about whether the newly rebuilt conference would survive, commissioner Val Ackerman said at Big East Media Day on Tuesday. 

But 10 years later, the conference boasts a men’s national champion in the UConn Huskies, an array of high-profile coaches including returner Rick Pitino, and a raucous tournament at Madison Square Garden. Big East Media Day was the most well-attended in a decade, a conference spokesperson said during opening remarks. 

The Big East has not been impacted by the seismic wave of realignment over the summer — and is dealing from a position of strength as it considers expansion and gears up to negotiate a new media rights deal.

No Expansion Now 

Over the past two years, the Big East has considered adding Gonzaga — and had to fight off the Big 12’s inquiry into UConn, which rejoined in 2020. 

But the conference’s presidents have decided to stay at 11 members “for now,” Ackerman told Front Office Sports, even though it has received inquiries from a number of schools interested in joining.

“There really hasn’t been any school that is sort of, exactly perfect — including in geography,” she said. 

Ackerman hasn’t ruled out the possibility that the conference could pursue expansion in the near future, though it would be unlikely that a new school would come in before the conference’s current media deal ends in 2025. The next deal would likely include a fee structure for if the conference added or lost members, Ackerman said, as is the case in the current deal. 

Negotiating a New Media Deal 

This winter, the Big East will begin negotiations for a new media deal after the current package with Fox and CBS expires in 2025. 

The conference has retained investment firm Allen and Company to help with the negotiations, which will begin with an exclusive window between the Big East and current partners. 

“We are very hopeful about our future with Fox — they’ve been a great partner,” she said. In 2013, the re-booted Big East launched together with the FS1 channel, and the two have grown together over the past decade. 

“Basketball is America’s game,” Ackerman said. “It’s the sport that brings the country together in March. We have one of the most storied brands in the game of basketball…so we think we bring tremendous value to a network in ways that go beyond ad sales.”

The current package with Fox and CBS pays out a little less than $6 million per school per year, according to tax returns. The conference hopes to get increased rights fees, Ackerman said — as any conference would. 

Geography Matters

Both Ackerman and coaches appear relieved at how the Big East’s lack of football has insulated it from the latest round of conference realignment. 

Georgetown’s Ed Cooley and St. John’s Pitino — both in their first years on the job — emphasized the potential issues other conferences will face creating coast-to-coast basketball schedules. 

Cooley noted it could negatively impact athletes’ well-being, as well as be impractical.

“Other conferences — they’re diminishing the importance of geography,” Ackerman said. “But they haven’t yet played cross-country schedules yet either. We’ll be interested to see how that works out for them.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Tim Pernetti told reporters he’s specifically interested in private equity—and didn’t rule out athlete employment or unionization models.

Deion Sanders: NFL Teams Manipulate Draft Positions

Coach Prime joined ‘Front Office Sports Today’ to discuss the state of college football.

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer Retires With ACC Move Looming

She set the all-time coaching record with 1,216 wins.

John Calipari’s Kentucky Exit Is As Slow and Awkward As a Dog in a Stroller

Calipari steps away from Kentucky with the Arkansas deal still unofficial.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
NBA
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

Simultaneous Final Fours: An Untenable Logistical Conundrum

The women’s Final Four has gotten much too big to take place at the exact same time—in a different location—as its men’s counterpart.
April 8, 2024

South Carolina’s Title Win Smashes Ratings Records in Caitlin Clark’s Finale

The NCAA title game became the most-watched women’s college basketball game.
April 8, 2024

With Back-To-Back Titles, UConn Proves Basketball Is About More Than Power

Unlike in FBS football, a non-Power 5 basketball school can dominate.
Sponsored

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 8, 2024

NAIA Votes to Ban Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports

Could the NCAA follow the NAIA in its transgender women ban?
April 8, 2024

If You Can’t Beat ’Em, John ’Em: Calipari Adapts to NIL Era

Jumping from Kentucky to Arkansas, one of college basketball’s foremost recruiters becomes a prominent face of the sport’s NIL era.
April 8, 2024

Amateurism Is Dying, but It’s Business As Usual at the Men’s Final Four

The story looming over everything is what no one is talking about.
April 8, 2024

The Biggest Star at the Men’s Final Four Mostly Missed the NIL Gold Rush

‘I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of money,’ Edey said ahead of Purdue’s win this weekend.