Is Men's Collegiate Basketball Maxed Out Revenue-wise?
Let's assume the Big12 blows up and ISU, Kansas, K-State, and Mizzou receive and accept invitations to join the Big East conference. Football-wise, the conference at twelve teams will probably be lucrative as the BE is looking forming their own network a la the BTN. With twenty MBB teams, the BE becomes a mini-NBA. With all the potential marquee match-ups in MBB, KU-Louisville, KU-Pitt, KSU-WVU, MU-Louisville, etc., what TV sports network is going to overlook the revenue potential this expanded basketball conference could bring in?
I dare to say having this many great MBB programs in one conference is too good an opportunity for any network to pass up and a Big East Network most likely would happen if the conference expanded. I can imagine ESPN/ABC being the agent setting up this network with the marquee games televised on ESPN with the premier match-up being televised nationally on ABC as "The Big East Game of the Week." This arrangement would create NBA-like exposure for the conference and not only BB revenue increases, but recruiting becomes a whole lot easier for all schools including DePaul. Believe it, or not, an expanded Big East has considerable upside to the tune of tens of millions of dollars per year for every school with MBB leading the way instead of football. Football would still be a solid contributor, but its potential is limited compared to MBB in this conference.
Remember now, this is all purely speculation. If Beebe's new deal goes through, then this, and all other conference realignment discussions are dead. Even so, if the B12 flies apart, I like what the Big East potentially could bring with the "Big12's forgotten four" added in. I expect Baylor to go to another conference more geographically suitable for them such as the SEC, or MWC. We'll see on Tuesday, most likely, if the B12 survives.