Cowboys, Rest of MW Teams Get Big Bump in Rights Fees Under 6-Year TV Deal with CBS and FOX

Tracy Ringolsby

The Mountain West Conference announced a new six-year television contract that will provide nearly a $3 million hike in the annual share for Wyoming and most of the other conference teams. 

CBS Sports  will remain a part of the new deal covering MW football and men's basketball with Fox becoming a partner in place of ESPN. The $270 million package will provide teams roughly $4 million annually. Wyoming received $1.1 million a year under the contract that expires at the end of the current basketball season.

While CBS remains the primary party in the package, Fox does replace ESPN as having exclusive rights to Boise State's home football games. While the terms of that agreement, ESPN's stipend in addition to the MW payment was $1.8 million under the expired deal. 

Commissioner Craig Thompson did say the league has informed Boise State that this contract will be the last one in which the Broncos receive special compensation, an outgrowth of Boise State's flirtation with leaving the MW for the Big East.

""That is the membership agreement that was discussed in December with the board of directors, and as we move forward, that is the anticipation, that everybody's membership agreements would get more germane and equal," Thompson said. "This will be the last Boise State separate negotiations for television rights."

Under the agreement, CBS will have 23 games on either CBS or CBS Sports Network with a maximum of five games n Friday. CBS All Access will have 10 additional games, and the network will have the first seven selections of MW-controlled games. CBS and FOX will alternation selections after that to fill their allotments. CBS has the rights to all Boise State road conference games.

There will be alterations to what has become the traditional Mountain West television foot print, including FOX looking at televising the non-conference game featuring Florida State having a 10 a.m., kickofff. 

"We would be looking at this as a unqiue time that would be a special event," said Mark Silverman, FOX Sports national network president. "We look at creating special events in the worst world, whether it's an outdoor hockey game, whether it's Midnight Madness, soemtimes speical time frames make the more more unique."

Thompson indicated the conference expressed concern about late night starts in November, particularly in schools in the Mountain Division, like Wyoming, which had an 8 p.m., kickoff for it's Border War with Colorado State the Friday before Thanksgiving, in which the temperature at kickoff was 7 degrees, before being adjusted for the wind chill factor.

Thompson said there will be efforts to avoid an abundance of those games for a particular school, but there was nothing officially included in the new agreements.

Silverman said FOX does have different demands than ESPN in light of the fact FOX is the rightsholder with the Pac-12, the only conference other than the Mountain West that has teams confined to the Mountain and Pacific time zones. 

A Breakdown of the Package:

 PLATFORMS 

 CBS, CBS Sports Network and CBS All-Access. 

 FOX, FS1 and FS2. 

TERMS 

• Six-year agreement. (2020-21 through 2025-26 athletic seasons). RIGHTS FEES 

• Combined $270 million over six years with additional third-tier rights currently in negotiation. ANNUAL FOOTBALL COVERAGE 

• CBS Networks: 

• 23 games on linear CBS or CBSSN. 

• Minimum of three (3) games annually on CBS. 

• Maximum of five (5) Friday windows, not including special dates. 

• Ten (10) additional games available for CBS All Access or linear carriage. 

• First seven (7) picks of MW-controlled games, then alternating selection with FOX. 

• Rights to all Boise State Conference road games. 

• FOX Networks: 

• MW Football Championship Game on FOX or FS1. Game can be played Friday or Saturday. 

• 16-23 regular-season games. • Minimum of seven (7) games annually on FOX or FS1. 

• Maximum of five (5) Friday windows, not including special dates. 

• Rights to all Boise State home games. 

• Maximum of four (4) Hawai’i games may be selected collectively by the two networks each year. 

• Broadcast Windows: 

• Saturday Kick-Off: 11:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. (FOX)/8:00 p.m. (CBS) local time. 

• Friday Kick-Off: 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. (FOX)/8:00 p.m. (CBS) local time. 

ANNUAL MEN’S BASKETBALL COVERAGE 

• CBS Networks: 

• MW Men’s Basketball Championship Game on CBS. 

• Game must be played on NCAA Tournament selection weekend. 

• Quarterfinals and Semifinals on CBSSN. 

• Thirty-two (32) games on linear CBS or CBSSN. 

• Minimum of two (2) annually on CBS. 

• Ten (10) additional games available for CBS All Access or linear carriage. 

• First twelve (12) picks of MW-controlled games then alternating selection with FOX. 

• FOX Networks: 

• 16-32 regular-season games. 

• Minimum of 12 annually on FOX or FS1. All remaining games on FS1 or FS2. 

• Between the two partners, MW men’s basketball windows anticipated to include most nights of the week. 

• Broadcast Windows: 

• Saturday Tip-Offs: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time. 

• Sunday Tip-Offs: 11 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time. • Weekday Tip-Offs: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time.  

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