The reshaped Big East Conference has reached a 12-year agreement with Fox Sports to broadcast all the conference's men's college basketball games, according to a report on FoxSports.com.
It's a deal that will go into place for the next academic year and also includes select rights for women's basketball games and Olympic sports. A lot of the college basketball action will be seen on Fox Sports 1, a new channel set to debut over the summer.
The conference, which has undergone a re-design during the realignment shifts throughout college athletics in recent years, will feature 10 teams. It includes the Catholic 7 schools along with Butler, Creighton and Xavier.
Despite the shakeup, the Big East should remain one of the premier college basketball conferences in the country. Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova are perennial NCAA tournament programs, while the three new additions are all programs that will benefit from moving to a bigger conference.
The remaining Big East schools are DePaul, Providence, St. John's and Seton Hall. The conference tournament will remain at Madison Square Garden, according to the report, and will also be covered by Fox Sports.
It's a major addition to Fox Sports programming ahead of the launch of its new channel. The most important factor in building a station that can be competitive with other stations, such as ESPN, is live games that appeal to a wide audience.
Big East basketball, even if it's a new form, definitely falls into that category. Father Dennis Holtschneider, president of DePaul, provided the following statement as a part of the announcement:
The New Big East is fortunate to have found a partner such as FOX Sports, which shares our intense passion for college basketball, and is committed to celebrating the student-athletes and the natural rivalries that make college athletics so unique and appealing for fans across the nation.
It's a deal that also includes rights for Fox Sports Go for live streaming of Big East games, which is key in today's world where people are always looking for ways to watch the action when away from home.
The report states the Big East joins the Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA and the Pac-12 as conferences with deals with Fox Sports. It gives the media group a strong base for Fox Sports 1.
Financial terms of the long-term agreement were not released.