ESPN Inks Multiyear Media Rights Deal With Mountain West Conference
ESPN has signed a multiyear deal with the Mountain West Conference that runs through the '19-20 season. Financial details were not released for the new package of games that came from the closing of the conference's channel, the Mtn. CBS Sports controls the main package of MWC games through an existing deal that also runs through '19-20 and pays the conference about $6M annually. Deal terms have one of ESPN's channels or the broadband platform ESPN3 carrying up to 16 football games, plus every Boise State home game, as well as 31 men's basketball games per year. ESPN has committed to carry at least three Boise State home games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The rest of Boise State's home games could be moved to ESPNU or ESPN3. CBS holds the rights to Boise State's in-conference road games.
The deal includes "TV Everywhere" components, with games being made available on the WatchESPN app. Last year, ESPN sublicensed four MWC football games from CBS Sports, marking the first MWC games on ESPN since '05. Two of those games averaged 1.376 million viewers on ESPN, and two averaged 576,000 viewers on ESPN2. Boise State is the conference's biggest draw by far. ESPN averaged 3.162 million viewers for two Boise State games in '12 and 2.723 million viewers for three games in '11.