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Catholic basketball schools discuss TV deal

Updated: January 10, 2013 12:38PM

Consultants working for the seven Catholic schools leaving the Big East met Wednesday in New York with representatives of at least one television network hoping to win the future broadcast rights to the new league’s basketball games.

But the meeting was expected to involve only preliminary discussions on what will likely be a lengthy process as the new league’s structure unfolds.

Fox Television officials were to meet with Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports, who was hired as a consultant by the seven schools last week. A representative from the law firm Proskauer Rose, also hired by the schools last week, also was to attend.

The seven, including DePaul, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Marquette, Villanova, Providence and St. John’s, must still negotiate terms of their exit from the Big East in order to leave before 2015 when current rules allow their departure. The Big East would like the schools to remain at least one more year.

Though Fox has been the first network coming forward, it is not expected to be the lone bidder for what is likely to be a longterm contract paying the schools as much as twice the current average $2 million they receive in broadcast rights from the Big East.

Any deal also will hinge on when the league begins play and its actual membership, which is expected to include Butler and Xavier and perhaps Dayton from the Atlantic 10 or Creighton from the Missouri Valley.

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