The Big East's current television contract expires in September 2013, and Marinatto called the upcoming broadcast-rights negotiations, "the most important in our history."
The league hopes those negotiations will result in a deal that will put the Big East on par with TV-rights deals recently signed by the Pac-10, Big 12, and ACC. Marinatto believes the Big East is positioned for a major revenue/exposure upgrade in its next television deal, particularly with the addition of TCU, which claims one of the nation's Top 5 markets as its home.
"Simply stated, the bottom line is that the next round of media negotiations will propel the Big East into a place where we will again achieve equity with the other major conferences in terms of revenue and exposure," said Marinatto.
Marinatto also said the Big East continues to study all of its options in regards to further expansion of the league.
"We'll continue to evaluate potential opportunities for further expansion and, similar to TCU, any new candidate for membership must also bring real value," Marinatto said. "Our process is ongoing and we continue to study all options."
Here are Marinatto's comments on television negotiations and expansion:
"I can assure you I am a student of the rapidly changing media landscape. It doesn't take a high-priced TV consultant to know that we as a league are very well positioned for the future given the TV households and markets we represent, the interest in our programs, and the landscape that has been cultivated by those who have entered the market before us.
"I'm confident that we are solidly positioned for the future as we approach the 13-month runway to what I believe will be the most important television negotiations in our history…We are currently in the middle of concurrent six-year TV agreements, agreements that negotiated four short years ago were negotiated during a very different era and marketplace and following a very difficult time for this conference.
"Since then the television world has changed dramatically and the Big East has re-solidified itself as one of the premier conferences in the country. Given the ever-growing demand for live sports….and the confidence I have in our product I view this as a golden opportunity to secure our long-term stability and security into the next generation.
"Since Dave Gavitt founded this league in 1979, creativity in the world of television has been one of our hallmarks. And I promise you it will continue to be as move forward in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Simply stated, the bottom line is that the next round of media negotiations will propel the Big East into a place where we will again achieve equity with the other major conferences in terms of revenue and exposure.
"The long standing partnership between the Big East and ESPN continues to be strong. The Big East and ESPN were both born in 1979. We have grown up together. We are proud and respectful of our three decade relationship. The Big East reaches more households than any other conference. Seven Big East members are located in the Top 14 media markets, and 12 in the Top 35, covering more than 25 percent of all U.S. households.
"Expansion and television are interrelated and in many ways go hand in hand. [Adding] TCU was a very important first step toward our goal of creating long term stability for this league. The addition of the defending Rose Bowl champion will expand the largest footprint of any conference in the country to more than 30 percent of the TV households in America and into the fifth largest market in the country. It also enhances the conferences already strong footing as an automatic qualifying member of the BCS.
"We'll continue to evaluate potential opportunities for further expansion and, similar to TCU, any new candidate for membership must also bring real value. Our process is ongoing and we continue to study all options."
Strong says "anyone" can win Big EastDespite being picked 7th in the league by the media, Louisville coach Charlie Strong believes the Big East race is wide open.
Strong was supposed to be accompanied by Victor Anderson, Chris Philpott, Greg Scruggs and Josh Chichester in Rhode Island but the players weren't able to make the Media Day outing due to flight delays caused by bad weather.
Strong's Cardinals will start fall camp Thursday. Practice will be open to fans Friday at 5:30 and Saturday morning at 11:30.
"In our program we want to accomplish three things," Strong said. "Number one, we want to see guys graduate because it gives them a chance in life. Then we want to go win football games. At some point, we have to compete and go win the Big East. Third, we want to make our players better people than when they came in. If we accomplish those three things we feel like we have an outstanding football program."
Big East Media Preseason Poll1. West Virginia
3. South Florida