Does my heart good to see programming decisions based on – and actually attaching a value to – quality college basketball.
The ESPN report sheds light on the major question in this Big East split: which would be worth more – a top flight basketball conference with no football attachment or a mediocre conference with football rights? Football has controlled realignment not just on the field, but in the offices of network executives. Football is the cash cow. Football is the driving force.
In spite of football’s dominance in college sports, the Catholic 7 led basketball league appears to be worth more than the full rights to the conference they would leave.
It is probably also worth noting that the so-called “Catholic 7″ will have a footprint in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington… significantly bigger and better media markets than what’s left of the Big East can reach.