One of the main reasons that the Boise St. Broncos decided to leave the Mountain West and head to the Big East was due to the expected significant increase in revenue for being in a better league.
When Boise State first decided to join the Big East, the projected revenue was between $6 - $10 million per year. That amount was based off of the deal that the Big East rejected from ESPN last year which was a $130 million deal. The reasoning was that the Big East assumed that they could get more money due to what other conferences were getting at the time.
Well, the Big East may have overplayed their hand just a bit, because CBS Sports is reporting that the next Big East media rights deal could be worth about half of what they were offered last year:
Based on a future 14-member football league (in 2015, the Big East adds Navy as a football-only member and has plans to add a 14th school, preferably Air Force or BYU) and an 18-member basketball league, the media rights deal would be worth the following amounts per school annually:
A $60 million deal per year (as speculated by CBSSports.com's sources, slightly better than their low end) would be worth $4 million each for the 10 full members; $3 million each to the four football-only members; and $1 million each to the eight non-football members.
A $130 million deal per year (as speculated by Pilson a former CBS Sports president) would be worth $8.66 million each for the 10 full members; $6.5 million each for the four football-only members (Boise State, San Diego State, Navy and TBA); and $2.16 million each for the eight non-football members.
The reason for the drop is due to the Big East losing TCU, West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse; then there is Louisville and Connecticut who are openly wanting to leave the Big East. Plus, the league as a whole is on unstable ground regarding their future.
The $3 million per year that Boise State could possibly receive is just over $1 million from what they currently earn from the Mountain West. Add in a handful of East Coast trips and that extra boost in revenue may not be worth changing leagues. That is of course assuming the Big East is paid on the low end of the scale.
It is starting to look like the move to the Big East for Boise State may not be as financial rewarding as they initially thought.
For more on Broncos football, visit Boise State blog One Bronco Nation Under God and SB Nation Denver. You can read more about conference realignment by following this StoryStream.