Earlier this week, SNY announced a deal with Fox Sports to broadcast 18 UConn women’s basketball games as the Huskies make the move to the Big East next season. Could another UConn-centric deal be on the horizon for SNY?
According to athletic director David Benedict, nothing is set in stone, but SNY certainly has a seat at the table for broadcasting UConn football games.
“We’re trying to bring that to a close here pretty soon,” Benedict told Paul Doyle of Hearst Connecticut Media. “We’re obviously talking to SNY.”
With the Big East not sponsoring football, the Huskies begin life as an FBS independent this fall. While their schedule is set, they need to get the exposure and revenue of a broadcast deal that normally would come for a conference.
With the math for UConn’s move to the Big East resting on costs savings from travel and gains of being in a more relevant league for the best Husky sports, adding football revenue with a good television partner would be a big win for the athletic department. It could potentially lead to bowl game tie-ins and better opponents.
While SNY is most likely not the only possible suitor, there’s a good chance it is likely the frontrunner. SNY and UConn have worked closely since the the New York City-based network acquired women’s basketball rights eight years ago and helped unite all four of the state’s hockey programs to kick off the first-ever Connecticut Ice hockey tournament this past January.
Even though UConn was not at the table for the recent women’s basketball rights deal, the network seems to see plenty of value Husky sports. During Connecticut Ice, an anonymous SNY executive told Doyle that the relationship between the two entities “has only grown stronger.”
Before the Huskies were set to join the Big East, Benedict released a scalding statement of the American Athletic Conference’s new deal once it became clear UConn’s SNY deal could be at risk. With the American out of the picture, it’s no surprise to have seen the two entities link up for women’s basketball and at least be in the running as a potential landing spot for football for next season and beyond.