LAS VEGAS The Mountain West is hoping to convince Boise State to remain in the league and the conference hopes a restructured television contract can help in that effort.
The Mountain Wests new contract with CBS gives the network its first pick of an undisclosed number of games, but allows the league to sell additional TV rights and control its digital rights.
Previously, CBS controlled all of the leagues rights TV and digital.
CBS currently pays the Mountain West $8 million per season. Deputy Commissioner Bret Gilliland would not disclose whether that amount would decline under the new agreement. CBS owns the rights through the 2015-16 season and holds an option for a four-year extension.
The benefit is that it gives us some flexibility to sub-license games to other national carriers and do some things creatively, which can help position us in this whole membership carousel, Gilliland said.
CBSSports.com reported the league could earn as much as $25 million annually with new agreements. The Mountain West also plans to launch a digital network that would stream live games in high definition and could generate subscription and/or ad revenue. Those dollars could help retain Boise State, which is slated to join Big East football in 2013.
We are having conversations with any number of institutions, including Boise State, about how we further stabilize and strengthen our league, Gilliland said.
Current Mountain West member San Diego State is not among those teams at this point. San Diego State has been adamant about sticking with the Big East in football and the Big West in other sports.
Gilliland said all 10 expected members in 2013 are committed to the league, despite reports that some MW schools have been contacted by the Big East and others are considering creating a new conference.
ESPN.com reported Boise State is seeking permission from the MW or Big East to control the TV rights to its home games before making its decision.
Boise State President Bob Kustra and Athletic Director Mark Coyle declined interview requests Saturday in Las Vegas.
Were going to do whats best for us, and I know that. So if the Big East is best, great. If not, then we stay put, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. I know thats the concept and I get that. I know Mark and Dr. Kustra, starting at the top with the president, hes going to do whats right for Boise State and hes not going to mess around.