Big East hires firm to help with TV deal

The Big East hired Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures to be the lead negotiator in the league's upcoming television negotiations, the conference announced Monday.

Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures has most recently negotiated contracts for the Rose Bowl and Pac-12, which launches its own 24-hour network this week. The Pac-12 deal, worth $3 billion, has been hailed as a precedent-setting venture.

In addition, the group has negotiated deals for Major League Baseball teams and other professional leagues.

“If one believes that past performance is the best predictor of future performance, we have tremendous confidence in our selection of Chris Bevilacqua to be our lead negotiator,” interim commissioner Joe Bailey said in a statement.

Co-founder Chris Bevilacqua, who led the media negotiations for the Rose Bowl and Pac-12, founded CSTV in the early 2000s. CSTV was the first 24-hour cable television network dedicated to college and amateur sports. CSTV was purchased by CBS and now is the CBS Sports Network.

Evolution Media Capital (EMC) will be assisting Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures with the negotiations.

Big East fans should be encouraged with this news. I can tell you I have heard nothing but rave reviews about Bevilacqua, particularly the work he was able to get done in the Pac-12 deal. The Big East is in major need of help in selling itself, and making itself as marketable as possible during this critical time. Also keep in mind, a new commissioner has yet to be hired, though the Big East does want one in place by the end of August.

TV negotiations begin in September with ESPN, which has an exclusive 60-day window. If no agreement is reached, then the Big East is free to begin negotiating with other networks.