Webs to punt Big East gridiron pacts?

ACC's gain may be Mouse neworks' ratings loss

ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said.

The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games through 2007.

Without Miami and Virginia Tech, though, the contract isn’t worth as much, said Jim Spence, a former vice president at ABC Sports who now runs a television consulting company. “If I had a football deal, I would make every effort to get out,” he said.

The networks, which began showing Big East football in 2001, said their contracts allow them to renegotiate if the conference makeup changes. Neither net would say whether it plans to renegotiate.

Miami, which has won five national football championships in the past 20 years, and Virginia Tech combined to win nine of the last 12 Big East football titles. Their exit leaves the league with only six schools that play at college football’s highest level: Boston College, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and West Virginia.

“It’s a complete mess for the Big East,” said Mark Pannes, chief executive of sports marketing company Skilo Brand. “They have to find a way to get back to eight teams.”

The Big East says it may try to replace Miami and Virginia Tech with schools from other conferences. One potential target is the U. of Louisville of Conference USA.

In addition to their Big East contracts, ABC and ESPN are paying about $25 million a year to televise ACC football and basketball games.

More TV

  • ABC Logo

    ABC Orders Tim Doyle Comedy Pilot

    ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said. The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games […]

  • TV Review: ‘Planet Earth: Blue Planet

    TV Review: ‘Planet Earth: Blue Planet II’ on BBC America

    ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said. The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games […]

  • Jeff Zucker

    A Headline You Won't See at CNN: Jeff Zucker Could Be in Line for ESPN Job

    ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said. The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games […]

  • Counterpart Review

    TV Review: J.K. Simmons and Olivia Williams in 'Counterpart' on Starz

    ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said. The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games […]

  • Katie Stevens, Yara Shahidi, Karlie Kloss

    Inaugural Freeform Summit Takes on #MeToo, LGBTQ Media Portrayal

    ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said. The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games […]

  • Sony Launches 'Breaking Bad' YouTube Channel

    Sony Launches 'Breaking Bad' YouTube Channel in Honor of 10th Anniversary

    ABC and ESPN may try to renegotiate their TV contracts with the Big East Conference because football powers Miami and Virginia Tech are leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, marketing and TV consultants said. The Disney-owned networks are scheduled to pay about $15 million per year to broadcast Big East football and basketball games […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content