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Big East Conference Retains ESPN as Primary Media Rights Holder

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Big East Conference reached an agreement to retain Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN Inc. as its primary media rights holder, commissioner Mike Aresco said.

The U.S. college athletic conference declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, which needs approval from the presidents of its member schools, who may vote this week. The $130 million agreement covers seven years through the 2019-20 school year, ESPN reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the transaction.

“ESPN has matched the third-party offer that the Big East Conference received,” Aresco said yesterday in a statement. “Subject to Big East board approval, ESPN and the Big East will continue, for years to come, their long-term relationship, which began in 1980.”

ESPN had one week to match an offer from NBC Sports Network in order to keep the media rights.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship,” ESPN said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:at 1261 or msillup@bloomberg.net

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