Sports Business Journal and ESPN.com are reporting that ESPN has matched NBC's offer to buy the Big East's television rights for about $20 million per year over six years.
The Big East was working on a deal with NBC that would have put most of its football and men's basketball games on NBC Sports Network. The deal also gave NBC the right to sublicense games, allowing them to be aired by other networks.
ESPN had the right to match the deal by Thursday. Sports Business Journal and ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, reported ESPN had matched but details were still being worked out.