The New BIG EAST conference took a big step on Wednesday, as the Presidents of the member schools gathered in New York to announce a series of developments that will help shape the basketball-focused conference, including a partnership of FOX Sports that will grant the network exclusive media rights.
FOX Sports and their new cable network, FOX Sports 1, will acquire television rights to all BIG EAST games, as a part of a 12-year contract. This deal will allow for FOX Sports to have rights to a wide range of marquee BIG EAST basketball games, including the annual BIG EAST Conference Championship.
“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,” said Father Holtschneider of DePaul University.
“We applaud all the BIG EAST schools for taking responsibility for their own destiny and forming what is clearly one of the top college basketball leagues in the country,” said Mr. Freer. “The quality of the competition is obvious. Five teams who will play in the renewed BIG EAST next season are playing in this year’s NCAA tournament, and seven qualified for postseason play overall. We’re extremely proud and fortunate to offer college basketball of this caliber on FS1 next season and for many seasons to come.”
The conference also welcomed their three new members in Butler, Creighton and Xavier, who now joins DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, ST. John’s and Villanova as members of the new BIG EAST conference, which is set to commence play in a wide range of sports in the 2013-14 academic year.
In other big news for the BIG EAST conference is the fact that Madison Square Garden will continue to play host to the conference games in the upcoming season and beyond.
“We are thrilled that MSG will continue to serve as the official home of the BIG EAST Championship tournament. In addition to being the center of the basketball universe, The Garden has served as a thrilling backdrop for so many of the BIG EAST’s most enduring memories and greatest individual achievements,” said Father Harrington of St. John’s University.