Mountain West Conference signs $270m media-rights deal with Fox, CBS

The Mountain West Conference has announced a six-year media-rights deal with CBS and Fox Sports for college football and men’s basketball games.

The deals, which run from 2020-21 through 2025-26, are worth $45m annually or $270m in total. Members are expected to roughly quadruple the $1.1m they earn annually from the conference’s expiring media rights deals to just over $4m.

In an extension of a previous partnership, CBS Sports Network will continue to serve as the primary media partner, airing the collegiate athletic conference’s best football and men’s basketball games. The network also will televise an additional 10 games of each sport per year.

The main CBS network also will broadcast select football and men’s basketball games throughout the agreement, including the men’s basketball championship – which has been on CBS since 2013 – with an automatic berth to the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship on the line. CBS Sports Network also will have the option to televise select Mountain West Conference Olympic sports each year.

Fox, meanwhile, is partnering with Mountain West for the first time, replacing secondary partner ESPN. Fox Sports will have exclusive rights to Boise State home football games and to the Mountain West Football Championship game, which will be televised annually on the Fox family of networks. In addition, a full slate of Mountain West football and men’s basketball games will be carried each year across the various Fox Sports linear platforms.

In total, CBS Sports will air 23 football games and 32 men’s basketball games, while Fox and FS1 will broadcast up to 23 football games and up to 32 men’s basketball games. There will be 10 Friday night games between the two networks. Under the new agreement, no football games will kick off after 8pm local time. Under the previous deal, games could start as late as 8.35pm.

The Mountain West membership is comprised of 11 all-sport members: United States Air Force Academy; Boise State University; Colorado State University; California State University, Fresno; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Nevada, Reno; University of New Mexico; San Diego State University; San José State University; Utah State University; and the University of Wyoming. In addition, the University of Hawaii, Manoa and Colorado College participate in the Mountain West as single-sport members in football and women’s soccer, respectively.

Hawaii will continue to retain broadcast rights to its home games, as it did under the previous package. Boise State will earn additional revenues from its homes football games, as it did under ESPN. Third-tier media rights are still being negotiated.