The Boise State football team will help launch a new sports TV channel with its season opener Aug. 31 at Washington.
The game will air at 8 p.m. MT on FOX Sports 1, the Pac-12 announced Wednesday.
FOX Sports 1 - billed as a potential alternative to ESPN - debuts Aug. 17 with an expected distribution to 90 million homes. It holds rights to Pac-12 football games through the league's TV contracts with FOX and ESPN.
For the most part, FOX Sports 1 replaces the SPEED channel on cable and satellite systems. SPEED is channel 607 on DirecTV, 150 on Dish Network and 304 (493 in HD) on Cable One. Cable One in Boise confirmed FS1 will replace SPEED in its channel lineup.
The Pac-12 announced TV assignments for the first three weeks of the season Wednesday. Five of those games will air on Fox Sports 1.
Boise State has times and TV assignments for eight games this season - all at night. The other four will air on ESPN/ABC or Web-based ESPN3.
VIDEO BOARD UPDATE
Boise State expects to fit its new high-definition video scoreboard project into the $1.5 million budget but must navigate some construction complications to install a board this year.
The school needs to decide "very soon" whether to buy a scoreboard this year or next year, senior associate athletic director Curt Apsey said.
The board would go in the north end zone, where the new football office and training complex is under construction. That building needs to be completed by the end of July.
"Our biggest challenge is trying to figure out how to do this without disrupting the completion of the football facility - and that's a big challenge," Apsey said.
The State Board of Education earlier this month gave Boise State permission to purchase a board at a cost up to $2 million, but the school has $1.5 million in financing in place - $750,000 from athletic department reserves, $500,000 in donation commitments and $250,000 from the sponsorship contract with Learfield Sports.
The plan calls for a screen that is 58 feet wide and 36 feet tall - 2,088 square feet of display space, which is slightly larger than the dimensions included in the State Board documents. Advertising spots and speakers would make the actual footprint even larger. Boise State also hopes to include an upgrade to the Bronco Stadium sound system in the project.
The board will go in one of two spots - in the same place as the existing board, which is anchored in the ground behind the bleachers, or on top of the football facility, which was designed to support a video board.
The outdated, existing board is 24-by-18 and was installed in 2001. The new board would be nearly 5 times larger.
"We all realize it's time to make a change," Apsey said, "and we're going to do our best to make that happen. At no point have we ever said it's going to be this year. Don't get me wrong - that is our goal but this is a long-term decision. This isn't about putting a board in because we've absolutely got to have it this year."
BSU also is looking into replacing the outdated video scoreboard in Taco Bell Arena, Apsey said. The school will have to generate all of the money needed for that project, because the stadium scoreboard will exhaust the $1 million fund for infrastructure improvements included in Learfield Sports' 10-year contract for the athletic department's sponsorship rights.
COMPETITION FOR KELLEN MOORE?
The Detroit Lions claimed QB Thaddeus Lewis off waivers this week. He started the season finale last year for the Cleveland Browns. The Lions also waived undrafted free agent quarterback Alex Carder of Western Michigan.
Lewis likely will compete with former Boise State star Kellen Moore for the No. 3 job. Starter Matthew Stafford and backup Shaun Hill return in their roles.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat