By Chadd Cripe
We've got plans for a bunch of Boise State-to-the-Mountain West coverage over the next couple weeks, including a story for Friday's paper breaking down the details of the Mountain West's TV deal.
I know fans are concerned about the availability of games and some people think being on ESPN less will hurt the Broncos, but there's really only one part of that TV deal that's going to matter. By my estimate, Boise State would get about $700,000 more per year from the Mountain West contract. Considering Boise State cut its budget and had layoffs at this time last year, that's a significant amount of money.
Several Mountain West presidents have said they expect to take a serious look at expansion at their meeting June 6-8 in Jackson, Wyo. The only school that would make sense is Boise State because of the BCS implications.
Here are a few other highlights of the deal:
— The deal began in 2006 and is worth $120 million over 10 years. The contract runs through 2015-16 — meaning Boise State likely would have to play five years in the Mountain West before a reunion with ESPN would be possible.
— Versus and CBS College Sports show eight to 10 football games each per season. The Mtn. shows 30. They combine for about 100 men’s basketball games and 20-24 women’s basketball games, mostly on The Mtn.
— To show a football game on local TV, a school must get permission from the TV partners. That is rarely granted because those networks are trying to build their subscriber bases and are protective of their time windows. Boise State shows about half of its regular-season games on local TV. The Mtn. essentially replaces the local TV broadcasts.
— Among the Mountain West’s big three — TCU, Utah and BYU — only two games aren’t expected to air on TV this year. Those are Tennessee Tech at TCU and San Jose State at Utah.
— Mountain West teams play just four non-Saturday games this season. No team plays more than one such game. Boise State is scheduled to play five non-Saturday games this year.
— Mountain West games are fairly easy to find in the Boise area if you’re willing to pay for them.
CBS College Sports (38 million subscribers) is available on Dish Network (152) and DirecTV (613) but not Cable One. Cable One likely would be forced to pick it up if Boise State joined the Mountain West.
Versus (74.1 million) is available on Cable One (326), Dish (151) and DirecTV (603).
The Mtn. (8 million) is available on Cable One (329) and DirecTV (616) but not Dish.
ESPN and ESPN2 have nearly 100 million subscribers. But the Mtn. would provide greater exposure than the local TV deal with KTVB.
Versus was not shown on DirecTV last season because of a dispute between the two entities. That has been resolved.
The Mtn., started in 2006, was the first network dedicated to one athletic conference. It is co-owned by CBS College Sports and Comcast.