On Monday, The Sports Business Daily reported that the Big East Conference is negotiating with ESPN on a new television contract. On Tuesday, SB Nation New York stated that the new deal would be vital to keeping the league together.
Well, our friends at the Voodoo Five (USF's blog) have done an outstanding job of breaking down how much each school would get with the new projected deal when/if a network and the league signs on the dotted line. Voodoo's calculations are based on:
- A $120 million annual deal (the median of the projected $110-130 range that experts say the negotiations are beginning at).
- "The football and basketball portions of the contract would continue to be negotiated separately and split equally among the schools who play in the Big East for each sport".
- "The number of teams playing each sport will not change during the life of the contract."
- "The basketball portion of the contract would still be worth equal to or more than the football portion".
- "The new contract would not be affected by any additional football teams joining the league this year or whenever".
Now, because Syracuse and Rutgers are both football and basketball members the dollar numbers are the same as USF.
"Obviously as a football and basketball member, USF makes more money as the contract balances out in value between football and basketball. They would get a share of each, and since the football portion of the contract will be split fewer ways, their total haul increases as the football portion increases."
So, to answer the question, is the TV deal split evenly between the football and basketball programs is no. The football schools do bring in more money than the non-football ones because those programs get both the football and basketball money (a 50/50 split), which is then divided amongst a smaller number of schools (eight, which is soon to be nine and possibly 10).
If Voodoo is right (and I trust that they're because they run a fantastic blog), one conclusion can be made: The only reason some Big East schools do not want Villanova to move from FCS to FBS and join the conference is because it hurts the overall dollar amount of the new TV contract. That's it. For the time being, the stadium situation is just a scapegoat.
In my opinion, this is the only reason why the Big East isn't being loyal to 'Nova, which has "won 19 team national championships and fielded one of the most successful all-around programs in the conference." If the Wildcats want to move up and join the Big East in football they should be allowed to, but because they will be a start-up program presidents of certain universities do not favor the addition because it hurts the overall vaule of the league (at least, in the short term).
I just don't understand why a program like 'Nova, which has committed to the conference for decades and now wants to be a part of its future in football, can't. That's like having a group of buddies who play in a golf league and now need a new member. One of the friends has never played in the league, but now wants to try. Are you not going to let that friend join your golfing group because he may have a few clubs made out of wood and may need to take some time to develop a decent stroke? No way. A good friend shows him the ropes and enjoys his company because you know you have a few guys that already shoot scratch golf or better, and the odds of you winning the league trophy are still pretty solid.
Those opposed to 'Nova joining the league can say what they want, but allowing 'Nova to join the league is the right thing to do. Unfortunately for Wildcats' fans it's just not the most profitable.