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ESPN shows faith in Big East with six-year football, basketball package

by Richard Veilleux - September 18, 2006

The Big East and ESPN have reached agreement on a long-term television package that should satisfy even the hardest core Husky fans.

In an agreement that will run through the 2013 regular season in football, and the entire 2013 season in men's and women's basketball, ESPN will carry:

  • a minimum of 60 Big East men's basketball games each year on ESPN or ESPN2, including all 11 games in the Big East Tournament;
  • every Big East intra-conference men's basketball game, with the exception of those games carried on CBS Sports, on one of the ESPN outlets (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Regional or ESPN360);
  • eleven regular season Big East women's basketball games each year, plus the Big East Conference Women's Tournament championship game, on ESPN or ESPN2; another 15 women's games, plus the tournament semi-finals, will be carried on ESPNU;
  • a minimum of 14 Big East Conference football games will run on ESPN or ESPN2 each year, many of them on Thursday, Friday, or Sunday nights, plus featured games on Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekends, as well as select Saturdays. ESPNU also will televise at least five games each season.

The current football contract has two years remaining. The current basketball pact has one year left.

"We've been with ESPN from the start, and we have both grown together," said Big East Commissioner Michael Tranghese.

"Television exposure is critical to the success of our teams. Our new agreement provides an incredible opportunity to take Big East programs to even greater heights."

This year, UConn's football games on Oct. 20 against West Virginia and Oct. 29 against Rutgers will be carried on ESPN.

The Huskies' Dec. 12 game against Louisville will be carried on either ESPN or ESPN2.

During the 2006-07 basketball season, ESPN will carry four UConn men's games, and ESPN2 will cover two others.

Additionally, four Husky games will air on CBS, and one on ABC.

The television schedule for the UConn women's basketball team has not yet been announced.  

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