The Big East will not agree to a media rights deal with ESPN before the end of next week's 60-day exclusivity window, allowing the conference to negotiate with other networks, according to league sources.
The Big East now will be free to negotiate its media rights deal with other networks, specifically NBC Sports Network/Comcast, which has shown the most interest in the league, and Fox.
In April at the Big East's spring meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., NBC Sports/Comcast and Fox provided in-depth "pitches" to the league's athletic directors. Sources said the league's AD's were most impressed by the presentations from NBC Sports.
The Big East may still end up re-signing with ESPN, but the league is banking on multiple networks bidding on its media rights deal to drive up its worth, league sources said.
"We've been having productive discussions with the Big East and hope to continue our longstanding relationship," ESPN spokesperson Josh Krulewitz said.
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