Moments ago, the Mountain West Conference announced a new six-year television rights deal. That means big changes for the league as a whole and, specifically, Boise State football.
With the old rights deal, Boise State had a special contract “carve out” that allowed ESPN to air its home games. It was a gift granted to the MWC power dating back to the school’s discussions with the Big East. Ultimately, the move fell apart, and the Big East would go on to split between the “Catholic Seven” basketball schools, which retained the name, and the football schools, which formed the AAC.
ESPN recently outbid CBS for full rights to SEC football. That opened questions about the future of the sport at CBS.
Obviously the Mountain West is not the SEC, but today’s news signals that college football is still in the network’s plans. CBS Sports will be the primary rights holder for Mountain West football and men’s basketball, in a new deal announced today.
CBS Sports has reached a new, multi-year agreement with the Mountain West Conference. The six-year deal, which begins with the 2020-2021 season and runs through 2025-2026, extends CBS Sports’ long-term relationship with the Mountain West.
CBS Sports Network will continue to serve as the primary television rights holder, airing the conference’s best football and men’s basketball games. The network also will televise an additional 10 games of each sport per year.
“Given both the strength of the Mountain West Conference and success of our partnership over the past 15 years, continuing our long-term relationship with the conference was a priority for us,” said Dan Weinberg, EVP, Programming, CBS Sports. “Retaining the conference’s top games for CBS Sports Network is important and builds upon our already strong schedule. We look forward to an exciting future with the conference in the years ahead.”
CBS was already in on the MWC. Now, it will be joined by FOX, which got a big prize in the new contract: Boise State home games.
Per the deal, CBS Sports has the rights to Broncos road games, but home games will be broadcast on FOX or FS1.
Fox/FS1 gets the rights to Boise State home games. CBS has rights to Boise State road games. The new deal includes 3-5 football games and 3-4 basketball games on CBS and Fox national channels as opposed to CBSSN/FS1 or FS2.
— Chris Murray (@MurrayNSN) January 9, 2020
Mountain West deal is 6 years, $270 million total between FOX and CBS.
Both will have 23 football games each, then CBS(SN) can get up to 10 more games.
FOX/FS1 has rights to Boise State home games. CBS has rights to Boise State road games.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) January 9, 2020
That six-year, $270 million price tag will net each member school about triple what they are currently getting. That still pales in comparison to the major conferences, but it is a nice bump from what the schools were getting.
Boise State could be getting more from its particular arrangement, though those details have not been released.