Mountain West to pay up to $3 million in Boise State exit fees

By Brian Murphy

I have obtained a copy of Boise State's agreement with the Mountain West to remain an all-sports member of the conference.

Here are the highlights of the agreement (PDF):

Big East/Big West exit fees: The Mountain West agrees to pay up to $3 million of Boise State's exit fees to the Big East and the Big West. The money will come from Boise State's year-end distribution, which was to be forfeited, and is expected to be $2.5 million. The Mountain West will pick up the rest from its general fund.

Exit fee from Mountain West: If Boise State leaves the Mountain West before July 1, 2016, it must repay the conference whatever money it uses from its general fund to pay the Big East/Big West exit fees. This is in addition to any other normal Mountain West exit fees.

TV rights: The Mountain West will ensure that Boise State home football games are not part of, nor granted under, any current or future conference-wide television rights contract, including the league's current contract with CBS Sports. Boise State and the Mountain West must mutually agree to whom Boise State home football games are licensed. The revenue from Boise State home football games shall be retained by the conference. All television broadcast rights to Boise State away games are treated the same as other Mountain West teams.

Division of conference revenue: All members (except Hawaii, as a football-only member) will receive equal distribution of conferences revenues from all sources except:

- National Exposure Bonus System: Teams that play on a national broadcast — as defined as on a network of 90 million or more homes in the U.S.) will receive a $300,000 bonus. If the game is on a Saturday, the bonus is $500,000. That money will be distributed before per-member division of conference revenues.

These networks are defined in the agreement as: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC network "over the air," NBC network "over the air," CBS network "over the air" and Fox network "over the air" or their successors. NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network would not qualify.

Boise State says this is applicable to all games involving a Mountain West team — home/away, conference/nonconference. The Mountain West says it is only applicable to games that the league controls the TV rights for, so non-conference road games not be eligible.

– BCS Payments for Performance: Beginning in 2014, with the new playoff system and postseason format, any distributions made to the Mountain West based on ranking or performance or BCS bowl appearance will be distributed 50 percent to the Mountain West member who "generated/contributed to/participated in the ranking, performance or BCS bowl appearance" and 50 percent will go to the conference pool. Any expense payments made by the BCS will be paid to the appearing team.

Other terms:

— 2013 BCS and other football bowl profits: In 2013 and after, any "profit" from a member's participation in a bowl shall be distributed 50 percent to the participating member and 50 percent to all conference members in equal shares.

— The Mountain West will honor Boise State's existing non-conference scheduling commitments for future games.

— The Mountain West will not regulate uniform colors and specifically will permit Boise State to wear blue uniforms at home.

— The Mountain West will extend an option to San Diego State to join the league before offering membership to any other institution. The right of first option to San Diego State shall expire on Jan. 31.

— Boise State has entered an agreement with a third party for its website, streaming video and web hosting until April 1, 2018. At that time, the rights will revert back to the Mountain West.

— Should the Mountain West have 12 or more members, the present intent is to divide into two divisions and play a conference championship game at the home of the team with the highest BCS ranking.

conference exit fees

seem to have taken on value similar to carbon credits and draft picks. This should keep the accountants busy.

This is a good deal.

I think that this is as close to coming out of all of this insanity smelling like a rose as is possible...for both BSU and the Mountain West. It's unfortunate for the Big East, though.

Craig Thompson probably deserves a bonus.

He deserves something.

But bonus is the last thing that comes to mind. All of this was agreed to by the current member presidents I'm sure. After the fiasco that drove away Utah, TCU, BYU and finally BSU, I'm sure they all changed their tune. If he didn't get this done, the presidents would have had his head on a platter.

Disagree hardcase

..on Thompson. Surprised BSU didn't require Thompson's departure before rejoining and wish they had. None of this would have happened in the MW but for his do nothing approach before. The MW could probably still have TCU and BUY if not for his lack of insight.

spot on.


Murph ....

If Chip leaves the Ducks, is Pete the likely choice for Oregon? If Pete leaves could Harsin be pulled away from Ark St?

Pete is not the likely choice for Oregon

That would be the current OC.


Helfrich has a lot of support from alumni and fans for the creative up tempo offense the Ducks have been running... since losing to Boise St 19-8 in 2009. Kelly while winning, isn't great with the alums and big donors. If Kelly leaves, then when sanctions come, he can take all of the heat and the new guy gets a fresh start (with a few less scholarships).


Well said. That offense is exciting, sells tickets and attracts big-time athletes. Its Helfich's job to lose.

I cant see Kelly to Cleveland. My guess is hes using the interview to leverage more cash from Oregon or another NFL interview with another team.

Chip and Chip

This guy will be leaving,The hammer will be coming down on Oregon.Hammer NCAA. Such a clean program aka Lane K, and of course Petey C, Where are you Mr. Seastrunk?

Wondering if anybody knows what the going rate for a televised..

college football game is? The conference is going to have to pay $600,000 out for a Thursday night game between Colorado St and New Mexico? So if ESPN decides to cover five of these games the conference forks out $3mil? How did we end up on ABC this season before these new terms? If I understand even the new terms wouldn't CBS have held first rights to BSU v. NEV? I am just trying to wrap my brain around why we are only supposed to get $800,000 a season in TV revenues, but now a team could get $900,000 from three crappy games that have already been passed up by another network?


Excellent post. I wish I had the answers.....

Φ Seems that CBS

is upping the ante. If they are going to play with ESPN they need product. Right now (apart from the SEC), CBS doesn't have much. Just one bowl game (Sun) of the 35 this season.

What any network (CBS or subs) pays for MWC games is peanuts compared to what the Big 5 conferences get or will be getting. If they couldn't afford it, they wouldn't do it.

For the 2012 season...

... only 5 games would have qualified for the payouts:

Fri., Sept. 14 Washington State at UNLV on ESPN ($300k to UNLV)
Thur., Sept. 20 BYU at Boise State on ESPN ($300k to BSU)
Sat., Oct. 6 Navy at Air Force on CBS ($500k to AFA)
Fri., Nov. 16 Hawai`i at Air Force on ESPN2 ($300k to Haw + $300k to AFA)
Sat., Dec. 1 Boise State at Nevada on ABC ($500k to BSU, $500k to Nev)

All other home game "national" broadcasts for the conference were on CBS Sports Net or NBC Sports Net, so they wouldn't have qualified for the payout.

That would have been a grand total of only $2.7 million in bonus payouts for the 2012 season.

Looks like there was an error in the original post by Murph

According to a tweet by Murph:

Brian Murphy ‏@murphsturph
Asked again for clarification: All games involving MW teams (home/away, conf/nonconf) will be eligible nat'l TV bonus

So that adds significantly to the bonus payouts.

Φ The math

was done long before the announcement was made, obviously. Lots of "what ifs" for Excel on this one.

Questions are: where was the line; what did the chart through, say, 2018 look like? Would like to know the numbers far beyond game payouts.

There is disagreement on this point ...

... between the Mountain West and Boise State. The MW says no bonus for non-conference road games. BSU says yes. I can't see how the Mountain West can afford to pay bonuses for games they can't sell the rights for.

-- murph

Thanks, Murph.

I couldn't imagine how the MWC could afford that much in bonus payouts if they had to pay for away games. That would have been pricey -- probably more than they'll get for the whole TV rights deal.

Φ Perhaps, Murph

that CBS is saying otherwise.

CBS needs the inventory that you, yourself, alluded on KTIK in the last hour. $300,000-$500,000 per game (per team even) is chicken feed. National game ... what's the ad revenue? CBS needs product and they appear willing to keep the MWC , even maybe marginally in the red to do so.

What do you think CBS Sports is thinking after having 1 of the 35 bowl games this season?

Boss: "We have the SEC throughout the season and not one of their bowl games. How did that happen?
Immediate underling: "ESPN?"
Boss: "Neal thinks we are idiots. Fix it!"
Second underling: "Cue Tommy James and the Shondells."

ps - credit to Mutual of New York.

mony mony

yeah, yeah

Can't wait for that

Wednesday night Boise State v UNLV classic matchup......

Also curious what people's thoughts are on playing a conference

championship game? I used to think it was a great thing, but now see more disadvatages than advantages as far as bowl game placement and final rankings. Wonder how much Georgia likes the idea? Guess they could have theoretically won and played for the NC. It seems like it might make us more competitive with the MAC and C-USA, but less so against Big East and Sunbelt?

Conference Championship likely to be nationally broadcast...

Just guessin. If so, there'd be those TV bonus bucks for the 2 division winners for the playoff game.

Also, not having to play every team in the conference would open up more non-conference slots for each division. Ideally, those additional games would be teams of the upper deck variety and help bump up the strength of schedule. And--those are the kind of games also more likely to be nationally broadcast.

Anyone surprised

This University ,under Bob is just silly. No more talk, go out and play football.

Bonus for Thompson?

Are you kidding? Fire him now and get Karl Benson. This new MWC is basically what Karl put together in the WAC in 1996 and what Thompson and his Ute/Cougar cronies said would never work. Look it up. Had Thompson cut his hair and swallowed his ego in 02, alot of what has happened in the past 4 years could have been avoided. How ironic is it that the team he didn't want is now the team dictating the future of his conference! Go Broncos!



Only for Football?

Do the home game television rights and the post-season 50/50 revenue split apply ONLY to the Football program, or to ALL the programs (specifically Basketball) ?