By now, word of St. Francis-Brooklyn's discontinuation of its athletic programs has spread significantly. At Redshirt Sports, we have covered it from a realignment perspective, but there is also a unique media rights element to this situation.
This past basketball season, SNY, the TV home of the New York Mets aired Northeast Conference basketball for the first time. In all, SNY broadcasted 10 games across men's and women's basketball with the full schedule below:
In total, this is how many times each NEC member appeared on SNY:
St. Francis-Brooklyn was a fixture in the SNY-NEC package appearing three times, tied for the second-most appearances in the conference with Sacred Heart and behind Fairleigh-Dickinson. SNY picked up a men's and women's leg of the cross-borough showdown between SFU-Brooklyn and Long Island University. Losing this rivalry is a massive blow to the package.
Furthermore, the SNY package was heavy on appearances by schools within the New York Mets' MLB-designated home market. Four of the NEC's five schools in the New York City metro and Connecticut appeared multiple times in the SNY package, with Central Connecticut State being the exception with just one appearance.
While Fairleigh Dickinson's location in Southern New Jersey, is outside of the Mets' MLB-designated home market, they likely have several alumni living within the home market. This may have led to St. Francis (PA)'s two appearances on SNY coming against Fairleigh Dickinson, and even then, those two appearances were not determined prior to the season as several of the SNY games were.
With Wagner, LIU, and Sacred Heart still in the NEC, SNY still has reason to continue carrying games on the network, but the loss of St. Francis-Brooklyn is a significant blow. With the loss of the St. Francis-Brooklyn/LIU rivalry, the only marketable rivalry in SNY's eyes may be Wagner/LIU and maybe Central Connecticut State/Sacred Heart.
St. Francis-Brooklyn's departure may be good news for Stonehill, who did not appear on SNY on single time last season. If the Skyhawks have a solid season in men's or women's basketball, SNY could pick up one of their matchups with either LIU or Wagner. Wagner and LIU also may benefit significantly as SNY may become dependent on the two NYC metro schools.
In the end, St. Francis-Brooklyn's departure is not a reason to panic for the Northeast Conference, but it could cause the package of games to either distribute exposure more evenly or push SNY to depend even more on the NEC's remaining NYC metro schools.