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Big East announces agreement with ESPN to extend media rights deal

Feb 23, 2013, 4:11 PM EDT

Big_East_Conference

The Big East has accepted a matching offer sheet from ESPN, keeping the network as its primary media rights holder through the 2019-20 season, the conference confirmed Saturday.

In total, the deal is reportedly worth $130 million over seven years. That matches the deal put forth by the NBC Sports Network last week.  It will be worth approximately $1.8 million annually per school, once this major round of conference realignment takes hold and the Big East has 12 members.

“ESPN has matched the third-party offer that the Big East Conference received, and, subject to Big East board approval, ESPN and the Big East will continue, for years to come, their long-term relationship, which began in 1980,” conference commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement.

There has been a great deal of movement since the Big East was offered $1.17 billion by ESPN two years ago. In that time, 16 teams have left or intend to leave the conference. The core of Catholic schools in the Big East have broken off to form a basketball-centric league, which is likely the next to sign a major media rights deal.

To read the entire financial breakdown of the deal, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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