One billion dollars. That's what the Big East turned down from ESPN last month, sources told CBSSports.com. Of course that doesn't mean the league won't get the same offer - or more - from ESPN, NBC/Comcast or Fox in the next several months.
The offer on the table, though, was a good one. Sources said ESPN offered to extend its current deal with the league for nine years at between $110 million to $130 million annually, or about a $1 billion for the entire deal. That would have drawn the Big East a lot closer to the other AQ BCS leagues and locked them up through the 2022-23 school year.
"Whatever that gap is [between the Big East and other five AQ BCS leagues], it would have been as small [a difference to the others] as possible," a college football industry source told CBSSports.com. "You [the Big East] don't want to be so far in the rear view mirror that you're not connected with the other five."
Here's how the Big East's proposed deal would have stacked up with the other big boys. Of course, remember these deals represent different lengths of contracts and also a different membership size, so it's not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison as far as per school value. But it would have put the Big East in the same neighborhood.
Big East offer: $990,000 to $1.17 billion over nine years from ESPN/ABC
ACC: $1.86 billion from ESPN/ABC over 12 years
Big 12: $1.1 billion from Fox over 13 years, $480 million from ESPN/ABC for eight years. This does not include Texas' $15 million from ESPN for its Longhorn Network.
Big Ten: $2.8 billion from Big Ten Network for 25 years, $1 billion from ESPN/ABC through 2016
SEC: $2.25 billion from ESPN for 15 years, $825 billion from CBS for 15 years
Pac-12: $3 billion from ESPN and Fox for 12 years