ESPN and the Mountain West have reached an agreement for rights to the conference’s annual football championship game, enhancing an existing multimedia pact through the 2019-20 season.
The MW title game, played at the site of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Selection Committee ranking, will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 every season, beginning with the 2015 matchup on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 5:30 p.m. MT on ESPN2.
The football title contest adds to an extensive deal, which began with the 2013 season, that provides ESPN with exclusive worldwide rights to televise up to 16 Mountain West football games, plus every Boise State home game, as well as up to 31 conference-controlled men’s basketball games annually.
According to the contract with the MW and ESPN, MW football teams that have regular-season games carried on ESPN or ESPN2 during the regular season receive appearance bonuses. If games are televised on Saturdays, each team receives a $500,000 appearance bonus. If the games are on days other than Saturday, they get $300,000.
A spokesperson from the MW office said Friday that there will be no appearances bonuses for teams that play in the MW championship game.
CBS televised last year’s title game, and the game was played at 8:15 p.m. MT — not good for fans or TV ratings.
A late afternoon kickoff is much better for everyone involved. ESPN exposure is always a good thing, although the appearance bonuses would have been even nicer for the schools involved.
Overall, this is a good move for the MW. What do you think, folks?