'Catholic 7' Expected to Cash in on College Hoops TV Deal
New York, NY
The seven Catholic schools that are planning to leave the Big East are expected to double their income from television revenues after Fox has offered them north of $500 million for a 12-year television deal.
According to sources, Fox has an initial offer of more than $500 million to the "Catholic 7", composed of DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova.
The seven schools earlier revealed their plan to bolt the Big East and form their own basketball conference.
A source added that Fox is offering to air "Catholic 7" games on Fox Sports 1 channel, which will be launched in August. Fox Sports 1, which will replace the network's motorsports channel Speed, is already in 81 million homes.
A Fox spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment while a high-ranking source at NBC Sports Network, which has engaged in preliminary discussions with the "Catholic 7," declined to give a reaction on the report.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz also declined comment on the network's interest in the "Catholic 7" games.
The presidents of the seven Catholic schools met in New York to discuss the details of the new conference. During the meeting, they agreed to retain the legal services of Proskauer Rose and Pilson Communications for television negotiations.
Under the current Big East deal, which expires at the end of this season, the non-football schools receive between $2 million and $3 million from the television contract.
Sources believe that the "Catholic 7" would divide its share of the television rights evenly and split the rest among three to five schools that it will add to form a 10- to 12-team conference.
One source added that it is likely the new schools wouldn't share the same amount as the "Catholic 7," which would allow the former Big East basketball schools to earn in the $5 million range.
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