Pac-12 - The name changes from Pac-10 on July 1, as does the TV profile. With Comcast/NBC bidding up the proposal, ESPN and Fox joined in an unprecedented marriage to pay the conference $250 million annually, plus the Pac-Men keep 36 football games and more than 120 men's basketball games for the conference's own network.
OK, Big East, you're next. What's the clear lesson here? I don't think it's too hard to figure out how the other BCS conferences got those deals, particularly the Big 12 and Pac-10.
You don't negotiate unless you can get a third and fourth potential vendor involved. Yet, there are media reports that the Big East has been talking to ESPN, and the figures thrown about are in the $100 million-$130 million range.
The Big East should only be "talking" to its exclusive network. It can't do anything with anyone else. Why?
The expiration dates on the Big East contracts with ESPN are through the 2012-13 basketball season and the 2013 football season. However, while the expiration school years are different, the exclusive negotiation period for both contracts match and occurs ... next summer.
In other words, the Big East can't dicker with a Comcast, Fox, etc., until about the time the 2012 football season begins.
I don't see the Big East leaving ESPN as a primary telecast partner. There's too much history there, and ESPN still rules the world of college sports TV - although not as much as it did, say, two years ago.
However, the Big East at least to talk and listen to what else is available. The conference is adding TCU (and probably another football program soon), which increases inventory.
With 144 conference basketball games annually, there's plenty of inventory for another national outlet or even for the Big East to form its own network in concert with a bidder.
And right now, although football drives the bus in major college sports, there's no question the Big East has hoops value far beyond any other league.
If ESPN is going to bid something in the ACC vicinity of $150 million annually, then the Big East should go ahead and do the deal now - still without giving away all of the inventory.
However, if the conference wants to play in the same financial league as its BCS peers, the smart move would be to wait to see what other networks have to offer (and by a year from now, the Big East may have another football or all-sports member or three to help drive a deal, too).
That fact needs to be underscored from Syracuse, Morgantown, Cincinnati, Tampa, New Jersey, etc., and, soon, Fort Worth.
Yes, ESPN has been good for the Big East. ESPN and another network are likely to be better.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.