Mountain West Conference Looking For More TV Money

It is always about the money.

The Mountain West college sports conference which is made up of eleven schools and has the University of Hawaii as part of its football lineup is looking for more television money. The conference deals with CBS and ESPN are expiring and the Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and his associates are trying to negotiate new deals with both outlets and if that doesn’t happen, there are other options available. Most of the Mountain West’s teams play in the Mountain or Pacific Time zone which means schools could play late night games for east coast viewers at normal times, such as 7:30 locally during the week and on Saturday nights. Each conference member gets just $1.1 million annually from the present television deals. Boise State gets an additional $1.8 million a year in TV revenues as a thank for staying in the conference instead of jumping to the Big East. Boise State will maintain the right to individually negotiate its TV deal. Non-conference member Hawaii has its own football TV deal. Thompson anticipates getting a streaming deal and the over-the-air and cable TV agreements. Those agreements would be for a short term. Thompson does not want a ten-year deal because he anticipates that technology will continue to evolve.

The Mountain West is an ordinary conference, which means the money thrown its way is rather small compared to the big five NCAA power conferences. Schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten, the Big 12, Pacific 12 and the Southeastern Conferences are taking in at the minimum $20 million to as much as $45 million annually. It is big money and it is going into sports programs but it is not going to the players. The coaches do well, the athletic directors as well but players get a scholarship and maybe just maybe a chance to get an education.