Something mysterious is afoot in BE-land
SNY sent out a media advisory saying that Wednesday it will be making a "major programming partnership" announcement. Hmm.
And that Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano will be on hand. Hmm.
OK, people, I'm going to go out on a huge limb here and using my powers of deductive reasoning and vast network of industry informants jump to this conclusion:
The autumn-and-winter-sports-challenged network likely will be showing more Big East football and basketball after the supply of Mets game runs out.
I was under the impression that the RU AD had recently re-upped with MSG, but that article doesn't specify anything beyond the 2007 season. Obviously, you have to wonder what influence Chris Carlin had on this move. While he's someone who will go to bat for Rutgers athletics, most of their other non-baseball persoanlities can be described as hostile at best. MSG wasn't ideal, but Rutgers does have a strong friend there in Fooch, and it would be disappointing to see that relationship halted.
My 100% pure speculation is that SNY will be taking the BE Football GotW and BE Basketball packages from MSG. One question is whether they will become the flagship station for Rutgers sports - replays, the coaches' show, et al. Don't they already do something like that for Syracuse?
SNY has been desperate to add winter programming to their network beyond a loose affiliation with the NFL's Jets. During the baseball offseason, they're mostly limited to that and BE runover/lower-tier basketball. This would be a blow to MSG, who would not only lose the valuable basketball package (and its tie-ins to Madison Square Garden, the basketball mecca of the Big East and arguably the world), but a Rutgers football asset that had finally started to become valuable.
The presence of Schiano at the press conference is another indication that RU's turnaround has done very good things for the BE conference and its overall profile. A strong Rutgers captivating the attention of the NYC media market is vital to the conference's continued future viability.
edit: Looks like the Daily News has more details:
SportsNet New York will forge a programming alliance with the Big East, making the network the home of the majority of the league's football and basketball packages.
Sources said Madison Square Garden Network, which has carried the majority of Big East product, will retain a smaller schedule of Big East basketball games.
The partnership between SNY and the Big East will likely be announced Wednesday at a press conference. SNY boss Steve Raab, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano are scheduled to attend.
SNY, sources said, is also expected to announce it will produce its own Big East programs, including pregame, postgame and halftime shows.
While the deal will put a priority on Big East games in the fall and winter, this will not be SNY's first foray into college sports.
In 2007, SNY aired 100 men's and women's college basketball games, including some Big East matchups. The network also televised 26 college football games and 14 college hockey tilts.
It's still not entirely clear what will happen to the Rutgers-specific programming. In order to maintain maximum exposure, I'd still prefer it if that stays on MSG. I
This probably indicates that the Big East is putting the kibosh on starting its own network for the time being, even though it's important to point out that Comcast is a major partner in SNY. Expect to read more, not less, about media-themed stories in the next few years as the overall conference landscape reshuffles, and the Big East contemplates a potential split.