The loss of schools, such as Louisville, may force the Big East to accept a greatly reduced TV rights deal. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
The tumultuous effects of conference realignment may take a big bite out of the Big East's next primary TV rights deal, according to sources in a CBSSports.com report.
Sources estimate the Big East receiving $60-$80 million per year, rather than the significantly higher than $100 million in revenues the conference estimated receiving leading into negotiations.
Big East schools currently earn $4 million per year in primary rights fees. By comparison, the Pac-12's member schools split approximately $250 million per year -- an average of $20-$21 million.
Commissioner Mike Aresco said Thursday that “six media companies” want to deal with the Big East, including a new media player.
Some of those are easily identifiable -- ESPN, Fox, Turner -- but one source close to the situation said an emerging technology company like Google could be involved.
In wake of recent defections including the loss of Rutgers to the Big Ten, and Louisville to the ACC, the Big East's eventual primary TV rights deals could be a final straw for the beleaguered conference. New members such as Houston, have negotiated their own deals that allow for them to leave the Big East -- in some cases without penalty -- if minimum TV values are not reached.
To make matters worse, the Big East is also facing a lawsuit from Rutgers hoping to void its $10 million exit fee.
Boise State, Brigham Young and San Diego State reportedly have already contacted the Mountain West
about joining that conference if the Big East loses more members.