HENDERSON, Nevada – Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson didn’t have a lot of details on how negotiations are going for the conference’s new national television contract, which expires after this season.
But on the first day of the league’s media day activities at the Green Valley Ranch Resort on Tuesday, Thompson said a new deal should be completed this fall, and is “very confident” it will result in more revenue for each MW school.
The current deal is worth a little more than $1 million per school. That doesn’t include Hawaii, and Boise State gets an additional $1.8 million for its home games. That deal was reached when Boise State threatened to leave the MW in 2012 for the Big East. Thompson said the next television contract will have a similar deal for Boise State, and added none of the league’s board of directors – made up of school presidents – are opposed to that.
CBS Sports is the MW’s primary national television partner. ESPN is second, and Thompson said there likely will be a linear and digital component to ESPN’s part of the deal with the MW.
Bret Gilliland, MW deputy commissioner, said regional television coverage this season from AT&T SportsNet and digital platforms such as Stadium, will be announced in the next week to 10 days.
A new bowl cycle for all of college football starts next year. The MW is allotted six spots in the next cycle, and Thompson said the league will get that. Thompson also said there will be a bowl announcement today. One of those bowls is the new Los Angeles Bowl pitting teams from the MW and Pac-12.
This season, the MW has bowl ties to the Las Vegas, New Mexico, Famous Idaho Potato, Hawaii and Arizona bowls. There are back up spots in the Cheez-It, Frisco and Redbox bowls if conferences tied to those bowl can’t fill their spots.
This is the last year of the MW’s tie to the Las Vegas Bowl, which gets the first pick from the MW. The bowl will be moving to the new stadium or the NFL’s Oakland Raiders in 2020, and will have a game featuring teams from the Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference.
Last season, the University of Wyoming won its final four games to get to 6-6 and bowl eligibility, but did not get a bowl invitation.