Over the weekend, it was reported that NBC Sports submitted a verbal offer to the Big East to purchase the league's media rights. How much money was the struggling league offered by the TV juggernaut? Not very much. Not very much at all. ESPN reported that the offer was between $20 and $23 million per year for six years. This would shake out to $1.5M a year, roughly, for member institutions—half of what the Big East's current TV deal distributes and about $9 million less than what the deal that the Big East turned down 2 years ago would've paid ($130M annually). Say it with me: "Ouch".
So, still butt-hurt that the Broncos won't be trekking cross country to play the likes of Tulane and Temple? Now'd be the time to officially get over that. Turns out, Kustra and company knew exactly what they were doing by high-tailing it back the MWC. In fairness, they knew what they were doing when they made the decision to leave for the Big East as well. At that time (waaaay back in June of 2012), the Big East still had solid football properties in Louisville and Rutgers...the support of the so-called "Catholic 7" on the hoops end and the Boise State/SDSU (mostly Boise State) additions brought the promise of another sweetheart TV deal, the likes of which they'd seen 2 years ago (or close to). Then, in short order...the Big East lost Rutgers, Louisville, and the Catholic 7—and of course, gained no real value in return (Tulane?). The writing for the Broncos was on the wall, especially given the nice perks we secured as part of a deal to bring us back. Some still balked at the idea of running back to the MWC, however. How about now?
The initial Big East move was precipitated, in small part, by bowl access and a bump up in competition and in large part—by money. As we can now clearly see, it's not there. The MWC isn't exactly flush with cash either, but it allows Boise State to control it's revenue intake to a certain degree and will likely reward the Broncos for their on-field successes. Something that the Big East would have been able to do exactly once...next year...IF the Broncos were to win the league and gain an auto-bid to a money bowl. I too hope that the MWC is more of a parking spot than a final resting place...but in the short-term, our membership there is a no-brainer. NBC Sports just gave us 20 million reasons why.