According to reports, the Big East and ESPN are already entering into talks about an extension to their current media distribution deal. The current deal expires after the 2013 football season, and the early talks seem to show that ESPN would like to lock down the Big East for the new several years amidst increasing competition for college sports media rights.
The current deal in place between the Big East conference and ESPN pays the Big East about $36 million annually, revenue which is split amongst the members of the conference. That's a 16-way split, and soon to be 17-way split with the TCU Horned Frogs joining.
Many believe the Big East is seeking a deal similar to what the ACC received from ESPN, which is around $155 million annually. Right now, the deal expected to be offered to the Big East will likely fall somewhere between $110 and $130 million.
This will be a hot topic considering all that's happening between Villanova and the Big East in terms of football - and you would expect a deal will not be completed until the Big East adds another football team, or declares it's expansion (with any school) closed for the time being.
With talk of a split of the conference a new hot topic this week, a mega-deal could go a long way in keeping the conference together.