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Volume 26 No. 208
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Mountain West Conference Inching Closer To Completing New TV Deal

Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said that negotiations for the conference's next TV contract "could be done in about 30 days and will continue to place the conference games in the late time slot on Saturdays," according to Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs GAZETTE. Late basketball games "will also be part of the package." Thompson: "There will be 8 o'clock tipoffs and kickoffs. I know that's a concern for everybody -- for fans, administrators. If we can possibly get the number 7 in there it would be a real bonus." Thompson said that negotiations now are "turning to details such as the selection process between the networks that will partner with the conference." Briggeman notes the conference had "floated the idea in recent years of experimenting with digital formats to take back some of the control of its start times, but the money offered by television networks will continue to make it the driving force as the league enters into a new agreement." Thompson added that the conference office is "trying to find a balance between the most lucrative deal for the conference's 12 institutions that can also be within a reasonable set of acceptable parameters." He added that the MWC's success this season against the Power Five conferences "hasn't helped in the television negotiations to the point where it will turn into a noticeable monetary gain" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 10/16).