(WTNH)–Governor Malloy reached out to ESPN to lobby for UConn’s bid to the Big 12, according to a new report released Thursday.
The Hartford Courant cites one source saying Malloy called ESPN president John Skipper in August.
ESPN was widely reported as being a major factor in the Big 12’s decision not to expand. It apparently did not believe adding extra games and thus extra advertising inventory would be worth the $20 million fee per school the network would have had to pay the Big 12 under an agreement reached in 2012.
The contract runs through 2023.
On Monday, the Sports Business Journal reported that ESPN would pay the Big 12 $10 million to eliminate a pro rata clause that forces them to pay the expansion fee.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby denied that report.
The Big 12 is also in the process of negotiating a TV deal for its football championship game, which will be played for the first time since 2010.