Fox Sports is likely to announce a multi-year television deal with the “Catholic 7″ early next week, according to multiple reports.
ESPN.com reported Thursday that Fox Sports is “expected” to announce a television deal with the “Catholic 7″ college basketball schools during an upfront presentation on Tuesday. Previous reports have indicated that FOX will also announce the new cable channels Fox Sports 1 (Speed Channel) and Fox Sports 2 (Fuel) at Tuesday’s upfront.
Like ESPN, SI.com reported Thursday that FOX could announce the “Catholic 7″ deal at the upfront, but the report stopped short of saying an announcement was expected to take place.
“Catholic 7″ games would presumably air on FS1 and FS2. Other games would likely be sub-licensed to other networks; ESPN expressed interest in such an arrangement to SI.com last month.
The new “Catholic 7″ conference will be comprised of the seven former Big East basketball schools (Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, and DePaul) and at least two others (reportedly Xavier and Butler). The ESPN and SI reports indicated that the Big East will sell its name to the “Catholic 7″ and that the new conference will begin play in the 2013-14 season.
According to USA Today, the Big East and “Catholic 7″ schools were in negotiations Friday, but had yet to reach an agreement on the Big East name or on the schools’ departure.