Report: Restructured Mountain West-CBS deal could force Boise State’s hand
The Mountain West Conference will restructure its television rights deal with CBS with an eye on positioning itself as the dominant non-BCS league heading into college football’s new playoff system, according to multiple conference sources in a CBSSports.com report.
The new deal reportedly will give the MWC more leeway in rights payments when its current deal expires with the 2015-16 academic year. While CBS will continue to be the MWC’s primary rightsholder — and maintain a number of priority picks –the league will gain the right to sell packages of games to two other networks. The games could be licensed to networks such as NBC Sports Network, Fox, Turner and ESPN. The MWC television deal with CBS is reportedly being restructured after the network shuttered The Mtn. Network.
“The conference is stable as it’s ever been in terms of conference membership,” a conference source said.
CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd reports the new deal would further weaken the Big East’s current football alignment and force Boise State to choose between its already tenuous Big East commitment and a Mountain West that’s almost guaranteed to exist through 2015.
SI.com’s Pete Thamel reports three sources saying Boise State’s pulling out of the Big East and returning to the MWC appears inevitable.
The MWC is scheduled to submit its 2013 television schedule to its rightsholders in January, possibly forcing Boise State into a quick decision. Boise State’s Big East entry was based on annual projections of $8 million-$10 million, which the Big East is unlikely to meet, especially amidst the turmoil created by the pending departure of “The Catholic Seven” schools.