Mountain West reaches new television deal with CBS, FOX
LARAMIE -- Wyoming -- and the Mountain West Conference -- hit paydirt Thursday afternoon, reaching a six-year, $270 million deal with CBS Sports Network and FOX.
Roughly $4.09 million per year should go directly to the University of Wyoming. That's up from $1.1 million per season.
“The Mountain West is pleased to enhance and strengthen our mutually beneficial association with CBS Sports,” Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said in a release. “We are particularly excited about the opportunity to showcase our strong brand and premier football and men’s basketball teams on CBS Sports Network and the CBS Television Network. Our member institutions appreciate the commitment being shown to the Conference by CBS Sports.”
CBS Sports, who will continue to be the primary rights holder for the conference, will get first dibs on the best games in the league. Additionally, the network will televise 10 other games per season.
This will be the first season that FOX will air MWC games. Boise State football will be the main beneficiary of this deal. All Broncos home games will be played on the network as well as the league's championship game. CBS Sports will air the conference's men's and women's basketball title games in Las Vegas.
This will be the final television contract to give Boise State a higher percentage of television shares. Hawaii will also keep its local affiliate rights, Spectrum PPV, giving them less of the newly generated money.
FOX, and its platforms, will also air additional football and men's basketball games through June 30, 2026.
“FOX Sports is pleased to add the Mountain West to our roster of top-tier collegiate athletics partnerships,” FOX Sports President, National Networks, Mark Silverman said in a release. “We look forward to showcasing these exceptional programs, coaches and student-athletes in the years to come.”
Thompson said he wasn't comfortable going with a longer contract because of the ever-changing media landscape.
"We feel the next five years are going to bring change in the market, perhaps significantly, from both a technology and distribution perspective," he said. "In addition, a significant number of major rights deals will expire during this period of time, especially in the collegiate rights market. It was more important to us that once the dust settles from this period of change, we have all our inventory available to take advantage of any of those changes in the marketplace."
What we learned:
- Revenue is up from $1.1 million per season, per team, to more than $4 million
- Boise State is off of ESPN's family of networks and in its last television cycle to which the school can negotiate its own television rights.
- For the first time, Hawaii is getting a piece of the television pie.
- Streaming games is still a real thing. Only not on Facebook, on CBS Sports streaming platforms.
- A six-year deal gives the conference the advantage to bail if the television numbers are slumping and more cord-cutting takes place.
- 23 games will be on CBS or an affiliate. CBS has rights to Boise Styate road games. CBS can pick up an additional 10 MWC games.
- 16-to-23 regular-season games will be seen on FOX networks. Seven of those will be on FOX or FS1. The conference title game will appear on FOX, and the network has rights to all Boise State home games.