ESPN’s offer has created a division among the conference’s schools. Some want to rebuff ESPN’s offer and take the conference’s media rights to the open market. The reason: The amount of potential bidders in the market has helped other leagues increase their media rights more than they initially expected.
— SportsBusiness Daily has a report today on the ongoing broadcast rights negotiations between the Big East and ESPN. This issue clearly is driving conference expansion. It is unlikely that the other Big East football programs want to decrease their payout by adding Villanova. Looks like John Marinatto is doing his best to secure a lackluster deal.