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Reports indicate Mountain West, ESPN close to multi-year TV deal

Published March 7, 2013 5:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

ESPN is reporting that the famous four-letter network is closing in on a massive deal to televise a number of Mountain West football and basketball games.

ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported Thursday afternoon that the recently reinforced Mountain West is getting ready to sign a seven-year deal that could add up to big money with its current deal with CBS.

The deal brings the total value of the Mountain West's media rights deal, including its existing deal with CBS Sports Network, up to about $116 million, or $18 million annually, sources said.

Of the 22 football games to be televised on ESPN, all six of Boise State's home games will be included. The conference still has to negotiate the rights to its conference championship football game, which would bring more revenue to the league.

From a local perspective, that's obviously a big windfall to Utah State, which was in the red only a few years ago.

The program is joining the Mountain West next year. Besides a huge boost to media revenue for the school itself - $18 million would be a lot, lot more than the school makes now - the football team will get more exposure by virtue of playing Boise State every year and possibly competing for future conference championships on ESPN.

McMurphy said the terms of the deal include televising up to 22 football games and 25 men's basketball games, which would also be a nice plus for Stew Morrill and his program. It's unclear when the deal might become official.

— Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon