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Soon-to-be-renamed Big East signs basketball rights deal with CBS Sports

Mar 26, 2013, 12:43 PM EDT

Mike Aresco AP

The soon-to-be-renamed Big East, smaller by seven schools after the defection of the Catholic 7, has signed a media rights deal with CBS Sports to carry conference games through the 2019-20 season, the league announced in a release Tuesday.

The deal allows for up to 12 games to be broadcast by CBS annually. Of those twelve, six will be conference games.

“We are delighted to be extending the historic and successful relationship that we have enjoyed with CBS Sports since 1983,” commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This agreement further illustrates the excitement and anticipation that surround the re-invention of our Conference, and it will provide our fans across the country the opportunity to watch our games on network television.”

Prior to becoming the commissioner of the then-Big East, Aresco was a television executive at CBS and was expected to be an integral part of the conference’s television negotiations.

As it stands now, the conference still includes Connecticut and Cincinnati, both of whom have expressed an interest in leaving the conference at different points throughout the realignment process. Speculation continues that if some other major pieces of the conference landscape shift, these could be two of the schools ready to pack up and leave Aresco’s conference.

If no other changes are made, the conference would consist of the following basketball-playing members at the start of the 2014-15 season: Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Temple, and Tulane.

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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