When the new Big East emerged in 2013 after the breakaway of the conference’s remaining football schools to form what would become the American Athletic Conference, it signed a 12-year primary rights deal with Fox Sports that March. That deal included over 100 men’s basketball games for Fox’s channels each year, plus exclusive Big East Tournament rights and rights to other sports, but it also mentioned that some regular season games would be sublicensed to another network. ESPN was widely predicted at the time, but it was actually CBS that wound up with that deal, signing on that September to show 20 Big East games that year (with two on broadcast CBS and the rest on CBSSN) and then “up to 30 games annually” from 2014-15 to 2018-19.
That deal’s now run its course, but CBS announced Thursday they’ve signed a new deal through 2024-25 (the end of Fox’s deal) for a similar sublicensing deal.
The new deal will have CBS Sports picking up 20 regular-season games each year, with at least two for each of the 10 schools. Up to four games annually will air on CBS’ broadcast network, with the remainder on CBS Sports Network. In the CBS release, officials from the network and the conference emphasized the continuation of their long-running partnership (which dates back to the old Big East):
“CBS Sports has partnered with the Big East for more than 35 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to showcase the conference across our platforms for years to come,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “The depth of the conference has never been stronger and we are excited to continue our long-standing relationship with the Big East in delivering high-quality basketball to our viewers.”
“We’re very excited that the long-standing national television coverage Big East basketball has enjoyed on CBS Sports will be continuing for the next six years,” said Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman. “We’re grateful for the outstanding support CBS provides annually to the college game and look forward to partnering to bring compelling broadcasts to our fans around the country.”