The Big East is nearing a window to renegotiate its television deal, and the conference hopes it will result in a large gain in revenue. However, there's an issue for the conference as the negotiation window inches closer: Realignment has changed the landscape of the conference and college football as a whole. And according to a CBS Sports report, the Big East may take a significant hit as a result.
A year ago, the Big East was offered a deal worth $130 million per year. The conference turned it down. And while some analysts expect a similar deal this time around, CBS Sports' sources aren't so high on the conference's chances of snagging a big deal. In fact, it could be somewhere around half the deal the Big East was offered last year.
A $130 million deal per year (as speculated by Pilson) would be worth $8.66 million each for the 10 full members; $6.5 million each for the four football-only members (Boise State, San Diego State, Navy and TBA); and $2.16 million each for the eight non-football members.
A $60 million deal per year (as speculated by CBSSports.com's sources, slightly better than their low end) would be worth $4 million each for the 10 full members; $3 million each to the four football-only members; and $1 million each to the eight non-football members.
To put these numbers in perspective, consider that Nick Saban will make an average of just about $5.6 million a year over the next eight years. Mack Brown also tops the $5 million a year mark and Bob Stoops is just above $4 million. It's likely that Les Miles will make more than $4 million this coming year, as well.
Sure, these are top-end coaches, but they're also making more than full-member schools of the Big East Conference will, should the next television deal come in around the $60 million a year mark. And with television revenue skyrocketing elsewhere, a low-end deal would put the Big East in an awfully difficult position.
Take the Pac-12, for instance. Its new deal has paid immediate dividends: Multiple schools have been able to move forward with facilities upgrades, while others have hired high-profile coaches in the past few months. Perennial revenue bottom-feeder Washington State was able to hire Mike Leach at a salary of more than $2 million per year, thanks to the new deal that will net schools somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million annually once the Pac-12 Network is up and running.
A poor deal could be crippling for the Big East and, making matters worse, the vultures may also be circling, waiting to pick off schools should realignment kick into high gear again this summer.
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