Mountain West renegotiates television deal with CBS

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

CBS and the Mountain West have restructured their television deal.

The Mountain West and CBS have restructured their television deal to give the league the option to sell some games to two additional networks. This new deal does not extend the current agreement, which ends after the 2015-16 basketball season, but what it does is give the Mountain West a chance to make more money.

CBS still has the rights to primary games, which is approximately 15 per football season, but the Mountain West can shop the rest to the likes of ESPN, NBC Sports Network, Fox (which has plans for a new sports network of it's own) or Turner. The $12 million value of the contract is not expected to change with CBS giving up rights to some games, so there is a way for the league to payout more to their members.

The restructuring of the television deal is a make good by CBS to the league since The Mtn. closed down last May, and that cost members some money with less games to broadcast.

Restructuring the deal also allows the Mountain West to strengthen their position as the leader of the "group of five" conferences, and gives them a chance to lure back Boise State and San Diego State.

If Boise State does return to the Mountain West then it could trigger a membership clause that would allow the Mountain West renegotiate new rights fees, and it could allow the league to set up a digital network.

A source from the CBSSports.com report says, "The conference is as stable as it's ever been in terms of conference membership." This contradicts the report that Colorado State and New Mexico are looking to form a new league.

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