The Boise State football team will play at least half of its games on Fridays this season after the Mountain West announced that three more Broncos games have been moved.
The dates for 11 of the Broncos’ 12 games are now final. The BYU game still could be moved.
The three new Friday games are Oct. 16 at Utah State (7 p.m., CBSSN), Nov. 20 vs. Air Force (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) and Nov. 27 at San Jose State (1:30 p.m., CBSSN).
The Friday games previously announced: Sept. 4 vs. Washington (8:15 p.m., ESPN), Sept. 18 vs. Idaho State (7 p.m., CBSSN) and Sept. 25 at Virginia (TBA, ESPN/ESPN2).
Boise State is only required to accept three non-Saturday games per season. However, the Virginia and BYU games don’t count (the Mountain West doesn’t control the rights) and the school requested the Friday dates for Washington (for the ESPN exposure) and Idaho State (to prevent a short week to prepare for Virginia). The TV networks then placed Boise State on the maximum three Fridays when working with the Mountain West.
Here is the full Mountain West weeknight schedule.
So far, Boise State has secured $600,000 in TV bonuses and a $50,000 inconvenience fee for the Idaho State game. The Broncos stand to gain much more because ESPN owns the rights to four more games that are scheduled for Saturdays (not counting BYU, a game that isn’t bonus-eligible because it’s not owned by the Mountain West).
If any of those four games land on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC, they’re worth $500,000 each. At least one of those games must be placed on ESPN or ESPN2 by contract. A maximum of two can be placed on Web-based ESPN3, but ESPN has only placed one game there in two years (2013 vs. Tennessee-Martin).
ESPN owns the Broncos’ three remaining home games – vs. Hawaii, Wyoming and New Mexico. It also received one of the Broncos’ Mountain West road games (to be announced) in a trade with CBS Sports Network, which took the Idaho State game. The networks have traded a game every year since Boise State and the Mountain West agreed to this TV deal in 2013. ESPN owns the rights to all of the Broncos’ home games through 2019.
Boise State received a Mountain West-high $2.1 million in TV bonuses last season.
The Mountain West likely won’t release additional TV details until next month. Some ESPN games won’t have game times and networks set until six or 12 days before the game.
Sept. 4 (Friday): vs. Washington, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Sept. 12: at BYU, TBA
Sept. 18 (Friday): vs. Idaho State, 7 p.m., CBSSN
Sept. 25 (Friday): at Virginia, TBA, ESPN/ESPN2
Oct. 3: vs. Hawaii, TBA
Oct. 10: at Colorado State, TBA
Oct. 16 (Friday): at Utah State, 7 p.m., CBSSN
Oct. 24: vs. Wyoming, TBA
Oct. 31: at UNLV, TBA
Nov. 14: vs. New Mexico, TBA
Nov. 20 (Friday): vs. Air Force, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Nov. 27 (Friday): at San Jose State, 1:30 p.m., CBSSN
Dec. 5: Mountain West championship game, TBA