The Big East Conference, which became the nation's largest Division I conference on July 1, will expand its already dominant presence on national television with an unprecedented number of appearances during the 2005-06 basketball season.
Long considered a leader in innovative television concepts, the Big East Conference has 12 institutions in the top 33 media markets in the country, including seven in the top thirteen. This is easily the largest coverage of any conference in the country. The league's 16 members will receive an unequaled number of national television appearances through agreements with CBS, ESPN and ESPN2.
In addition, ESPN Regional will continue to produce a Big East Conference Game of the Week syndicated package on weekends as well as numerous other games that are carried in local markets. The Big East Conference Game of the Week will reach approximately 25 percent of the nation's homes.
"Since our inception in 1979, we have consistently enjoyed outstanding television exposure," said Commissioner Michael Tranghese. "Our recent expansion efforts have significantly enhanced our media presence as well as our quality of play on the basketball court. Consequently, we have created even more broadcast opportunities resulting in unparalleled visibility for our basketball student-athletes."
To date, 101 Big East regular season league games are scheduled to be televised. Thirty-one will be carried by ESPN or ESPN2. When combined with the five regular season conference games televised on CBS, the overall number of nationally televised league contests increases to 36. Consequently, 28 percent of Big East regular season games will receive national television exposure.
With the addition of televising all 11 Big East Championship games from Madison Square Garden in New York, ESPN or ESPN2 will carry at least 42 exclusive Big East games, by far the highest number of telecasts for one league in the network's history.
Some of the other many highlights the Big East Conference and its television partners have created for the 2005-06 basketball season include the following:
CBS, which televised eight games involving Big East Conference teams last year, will carry 11 games this season including five league contests. CBS has one game slated for December, Louisville at Kentucky on the 17th. The January schedule begins with LSU at Connecticut on Jan. 7.
ESPN or ESPN2 will telecast 31 conference games, 14 more than originally scheduled last season. The first televised league contest will be Villanova at Louisville on Jan. 5 on ESPN2. The game will be Louisville's Big East debut.
The Big East will be featured in six games during ESPN's Rivalry Week (Feb. 6-12), easily the highest total of any conference. Rivalry Week begins with Louisville at Cincinnati on Feb. 6.
The Big East will continue to be featured on ESPN's Big Monday. Seven league teams will make at least one appearance. The Big Monday schedule starts with Cincinnati at Connecticut on Jan. 9.
For the 11th straight year, ESPN will televise the entire Big East Championship Presented by AEROPOSTALE at Madison Square Garden in New York on Mar. 8-11. ESPN will carry 10 of the 11 tournament games. ESPN2 will carry the other. The Big East continues to be the only conference tournament televised exclusively and in its entirety by ESPN.
On Jan. 21, Big East basketball dominates the national television scene. CBS carries Duke at Georgetown at 1:30 p.m. ET followed by West Virginia @ UCLA at 4 p.m. In the evening, ESPN has Syracuse at Villanova at 6 p.m. followed by Connecticut at Louisville at 9 p.m.
On Jan. 28, three Big East contests will be featured. ESPN2 has Cincinnati at Georgetown at noon. ESPN carries Louisville at Rutgers at 2 p.m. with Big East back on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. with Villanova at Notre Dame.
ESPNU has selected two Big East games to date. More selections will be announced in the near future. The games are DePaul at Cincinnati on Jan. 4, which will be the Big East opener for both teams. The other game is DePaul at Louisville on Feb. 22.