By Brian Murphy
The Big East is now free to negotiate a television contract with any network. ESPN's exclusive negotiating window with the league, which was supposed to expire on Oct. 31, ended Monday night without an agreement.
The expiration date was twice delayed because of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath on the East Coast.
ESPN reported last month that the network and league would not reach an agreement before the end of the deadline.
The end of the negotiating window does not mean ESPN will necessarily be shut out of Big East television rights. NBC and Fox made presentations to the league this summer — and league officials have contended all along that there is heavy interest in the television rights.
Boise State joins the Big East as a football-only member in 2013.
"Our goal has been essentially two-fold. One, to make sure we give financial security for our conference and give our schools the resources they need. That’s criticial. And also to make sure they get the exposure they need," Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said.
"A school like Boise is joining the Big East because we play football at the highest level. They can play a national schedule. The will have access to the highest tier of the bowl system. But they want to make sure they get the kind of national exposure that the program can go evern further. This program is already terrific. But it’s our job in this negotiation to provide that. Various platforms and as much national exposure as possible — that will be one of our sub-goals."
The Sports Business Journal asked experts where the Big East would land. Most said the league would end up split between ESPN and Fox.
Former Boston Globe sports writer Mark Blaudschun wrote on his blog that several different networks could end up with part of the Big East television package.
"Before it’s all over there will be some other media companies involved beside ESPN," Boise State President Bob Kustra said.
He expects to get an update on the negotiations next week in Chicago.
"It's fair to say there hasn’t been much to report from Mike’s end. We have great faith in a guy who spent as many years in the big media business he has. We're content with waiting this out. We've been reassured by him more than once that our expectations about what this Big East relationship would mean to us will be realized. I have no reason to doubt that we’re going to come out of this thing whole."
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