New Big East commish has TV background
CBS executive vice president for programming Mike Aresco has agreed in principle to become the Big East’s next commissioner, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com early Tuesday. The Big East subsequently confirmed the story — which was first reported by Mark Blaudschun.
“The search to identify the new commissioner of the Big East conference was truly an international search,” said Greg Williams, University of Cincinnati president and chair of the commissioner search committee. “We had many outstanding candidates, but we are fortunate to have Mike Aresco as our new commissioner. His breadth of experience and depth of knowledge in intercollegiate athletics will continue to move the Big East forward on a successful path. The Big East has enjoyed a great history. Mike Aresco will help assure the conference of a vibrant future.”
Aresco has been with CBS since 1996 and was in recent years responsible for all college programming for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network. His background should be beneficial as the Big East begins to negotiate a new television contract on Sept. 1 that will shape both the image and financial future of the league, and it’s the latest sign of just how important television has become in the world of college athletics. Almost every move by a university from one league to another — and almost every expansion decision made by the so-called power leagues — in recent years has been motivated by the possibility of additional TV dollars, which is why it makes sense for the Big East to hire somone with an extensive background in television.
“I like this move,” one Big East coach told CBSSports.com early Tuesday. “Mike is smart.”
The University of Memphis joins the Big East in all sports next year.