Dick Harmon: In negotiating with Big East, BYU demands were consistent

Published: Friday, Nov. 25 2011 8:00 p.m. MST

Two of those entities (CBS sports/College Sports and Comcast/NBA) have already heard BYU's demands as a member of the MWC. It fell on deaf ears. I'm told Comcast, at times, wouldn't even return calls from MWC officials or BYU.

If your future TV partner in the Big East is some of the same crowd who promised and reneged, shook your hand and then lied, then what is your posture going to be this time around in a negotiation? It is likely going to be the same tune and tone.

Many industry experts say Comcast/NBC is the most hungry and eager to obtain Big East TV rights in the upcoming bid war. It is expected Comcast/NBC will throw out some big numbers, thus the need to get a western wing in the Big East with Boise State, BYU, Air Force, SMU, Houston and Central Florida.

BYU could see the value, but it has already operated with some of these folks.

BYU demanded certain things be scratched in stone this time around.

If BYU's current administrators, legal team, or even Romney or Checketts were at the negotiating table, the mannerisms may have varied with the personalities involved but I bet the bottom line would have been the same.

BYU was not going to change what it demanded from the MWC and Comcast, retention of some TV rights.

Otherwise, they left the MWC in a big bind for no reason and a principle they would later abandon with the Big East.

One might say the retention of rights just isn't done these days, that the demand was unreasonable.

Oh, but it did happen last year.

BYU's eight-year deal with ESPN gives the school exactly those TV rights; to rebroadcast every game ESPN airs, a minimum of four a year, and to do home games on BYUtv when ESPN chooses not to do so.

To ask for a similar deal with the Big East may have been a first for a league and a potential member, but it was a consistent request for what had been done with ESPN. The past two years we've seen some unimaginable things transpire in the unstable world of college football.

BYU is consistent, in an arena that right now has no consistency.

It's pretty simple, really.

email: dharmon@desnews.com

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