In a move that is surprising only to the fine people Bristol, Connecticut the Big East is going to take their TV rights to the open market. There is a risk that Mike Aresco and media rights negotiating partner Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures have always been expected to take. You don't hire a TV executive to be your commissioner and then settle on the first offer
The structure of the current deal gave ESPN the right of first refusal with the Big East. The conference and the worldwide leader have had a 60 day exclusive negotiating period which started on the first of September. That time is almost up, one week and counting. A deal with ESPN is not expected to be reached in the remaining time. This coming from Brett McMurphy.
The Big East will not agree to a media rights deal with ESPN before the end of next week's 60-day exclusivity window, allowing the conference to negotiate with other networks, according to league sources.
This is precisely the moment that the Big East brought in Mike Aresco as commissioner for, to leverage his creditability on the content side of the business, along with Chris Bevilacqua and his team. The only thing that really matters for the Big East in the long run is landing a TV deal that will give members the ability to stay nationally relevant in the long wrong.
Estimates for the value of the deal vary, depending mainly on who you ask. Some early estimates put the value of the new rights deal in the same ballpark as the ACC's, which would be a major coup. With Notre Dame abandoning ship all bets are off. Its up to Aresco and Bevilacqua to earn their keep now.