Boise State and Mountain West Announce TV Deal with ESPN, ABC
Boise State University and the Mountain West Conference announced Wednesday an agreement that will secure ESPN as the television rights holder for home Bronco football games.
In the seven-year agreement, a minimum of three Boise State home games per year must be televised nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC, with the possibility of all Boise State home games being nationally-televised.
When Boise State announced on Dec. 31, 2012, that it would remain in the Mountain West, a key factor was the agreement with the league that ensured Boise State’s home football games would be offered separately to the media by the Mountain West Conference in order to fully realize their value to the conference and Boise State.
While CBS will continue as the primary rights holder of Mountain West games and have the first selection of men’s basketball and football games other than Bronco home football games, Wednesday’s announcement of the new ESPN agreement will significantly increase media revenues and national exposure for Boise State and the league.
Under the new agreement Boise State will be paid a bonus of $300,000 per game broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, with an additional $200,000 for a Saturday game. Boise State can only be required to play a maximum of three non-Saturday games per season. This means a minimum of $900,000 in annual media bonus revenue for the Broncos. The amount could be higher than the $900,000 minimum if there are more national broadcasts from Bronco Stadium than the three required, or if those broadcasts are aired on Saturdays.
“I know I speak on behalf of Coach Petersen and Bronco Nation in saying we are thrilled that ESPN secured the rights to our home games. ESPN offers unparalleled national exposure with its broadcasts,” Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle stated. “While the back-and-forth football conference membership was taxing on everyone involved, including our fans, this agreement with ESPN and the Mountain West will prove it was well worth the effort. We appreciate the leadership of Dr. Kustra and Vice-President Kevin Satterlee who played vital roles in the negotiations on conference realignment.”
Following the three required national television broadcasts, the remaining home games could be broadcast on any channel in the ESPN family, but no more than two Boise State games per year may be on ESPN3, a web-based platform.
Included in this agreement, ESPN and CBS have agreed to a potential swap of games. While ESPN owns all the Bronco home games, and CBS the Bronco conference road games, the two networks have agreed to possibly swap one game per year. Thus, a conference road game might be on ESPN in exchange for a home game on CBS.
Guaranteeing Boise State’s home games on ESPN is already appearing to provide an incentive for other teams to schedule the Broncos. In the past month Boise State has announced home-and-home series with the University of Virginia (2015 & 2017) and Florida State University (2019 and 2020), the first time schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) have agreed to play regular season games at Bronco Stadium.