I’ll do a common theme in this particular sports media thoughts post. This will deal with college sports. The thoughts will be in bullet forms, of course.
- With the Big 12 about to sign the next Mega Millions TV deal, it leaves just the Big East’s media rights in doubt. We know the ACC will extend its current deal with ESPN with the expansion of two more teams. The fact that ESPN and Fox have locked up long term deals with most of the BCS conferences leaves other mpnetworks fighting for scraps.
NBC signed with the Colonial Athletic Association and Ivy League. CBS Sports Network inked a deal with the Mountain West.
The Big East is still in play and NBC has been targeting the conference since last summer when it left a big deal from ESPN on the table causing major upheaval with Syracuse and Pittsburgh fleeing for the ACC and West Virginia packing its bags for Big 12.
ESPN has long-term deals with the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and can pretty much cherry pick its football and basketball schedules to its liking.
And with many deals not expiring until well into the next decade, any rival network will have a long wait to get into the major college sports game.
- The resignation of Big East Commissioner John Marinatto hardly comes as a surprise. As mentioned, the league is in a state of flux as the football and basketball schools are wondering which side has more power. And as a new media rights deal is on the horizon, it remains to be seen if the conference can ever match the glory years of the 1980′s in both influence and money.
- The Pac-12 Networks announce the first three members of the on-air team later today. We know former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel will be an analyst, but any other names are just speculation. It will be interesting to see who joins from here on end.