ESPN, Big East announce media rights deal

ESPN and the soon-t0-be-renamed Big East announced a new media rights deal Tuesday to broadcast its football, basketball and Olympic sports through 2019-20.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“I am delighted that the current Big East Conference, which will be renamed and rebranded, will be partnering with ESPN well into the future,” commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “The extraordinary exposure provided by the ESPN networks will give viewers the opportunity to see the exciting competition and intense rivalries that will characterize our conference.”

The new deal takes effect for the 2014-15 season and will provide unprecedented national coverage for the league. All conference-controlled games, which are conference games and nonconference home games, will be televised.

Among the highlights of the deal as it relates to football:

  • Nearly 90 percent of the games will be carried on national broadcast or national cable.

  • The minimum number of telecasts collectively on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU will be higher than the number of telecasts in the current contract, which expires at the end of the 2013 season.

  • The conference championship game, which is expected to begin in 2015, will be carried by ABC or ESPN on championship Saturday.

A conference call is scheduled for later today, so stay tuned for more details.