BIG EAST, CBS Agree To Basketball Contract

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference and CBS Sports have reached a multi-year agreement, which extends the network's rights to telecast BIG EAST basketball games through the 2012-13 season, it was announced today by BIG EAST Commissioner Michael Tranghese and Mike Aresco, Senior Vice President, Programming of CBS Sports.

The new agreement, which will begin with the 2007-08 season, will call for a minimum of 14 men's basketball appearances per season by BIG EAST schools. Additional appearances by BIG EAST women's basketball teams also will be featured.

"We're very pleased to maintain our partnership with CBS," said Tranghese. "BIG EAST teams have enjoyed outstanding exposure through the years on CBS. The length of this agreement guarantees that BIG EAST teams will have a high profile on national broadcast network television well into the future."

The BIG EAST and CBS have been long-time television partners. CBS began telecasting games involving BIG EAST teams in 1981-82, the third year of the conference's existence. The BIG EAST enjoyed a rapid ascent on the national college basketball scene in the early eighties and the league became the first conference to sign an exclusive agreement with a television network, forging a deal with CBS in 1985.

"This agreement assures that BIG EAST basketball will remain a central component of CBS Sports' basketball schedule, as it has been for over 25 years," said Aresco. "We are pleased to continue broadcasting BIG EAST Conference games."

Last season, CBS televised 11 regular season games involving BIG EAST teams, including five league contests.

The BIG EAST is the largest and most diverse Division I conference in the country. It was formed in 1979 and represents the athletic interests of 16 member institutions including the University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, DePaul University, Georgetown University, University of Louisville, Marquette University, University of Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, Providence College, Rutgers University, St. John's University, Seton Hall University, University of South Florida, Syracuse University, Villanova University and West Virginia University.

The BIG EAST Conference has captured 25 national championships in six different sports and is a founding member of the Bowl Championship Series. For more information on the Conference and its membership, please visit www.bigeast.org.

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