Big East wanted more money from ESPN than any other conference, according to report

Stacy Revere

The Big East wanted ESPN to give them $300 million per year for their broadcast rights, despite a collapsing membership. Had ESPN agreed, the deal would have been the largest any conference had ever received.

The Big East was looking for a $300 million annual fee from ESPN for broadcast rights this fall, a deal which would have been the highest any conference had ever received per year and far surpasses estimates for how much the league's rights were actually worth.

At the time, the conference - then with 15 teams, including Boise State and San Diego State - was negotiating exclusively with ESPN to renew the deal the conference had with the network. They asked for $300 million, according to CBS Sports, who earlier had reported that industry insiders believed the league's rights were worth somewhere in the $60 million to $80 million range. The Pac-12's $250 million annual deal with ESPN is believed to be the highest contract of any conference.

ESPN obviously declined the offer, ending the exclusive negotiations between them and the league. Since that happened, the conference's seven Catholic basketball schools have left the conference, along with Louisville, and Boise State has backed out of their plans to join the league. That even further diminishes the league's value. However, because ESPN declined to match the asking price, the Big East is now free to negotiate with any network - perhaps the purpose of the exorbitant offer.

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