The WAC announced a new agreement with ESPN today that will expand the conference's exposure for sports across the board over the next 10 years. Somewhere, the Mountain West Sports Network weeps.
ESPN will feature over 300 regular season games throughout the course of the contract, including men's basketball, women's basketball, softball and volleyball. What, no conference cross country specials? Men's basketball will get the biggest boost from the new contract, quadrupling its coverage of games from here on out.
The football teams didn't do too shabby, either.
Football: Double the number of games per year from eight to a minimum of 16 with at least 10 on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 and at least six on ESPNU. A minimum of nine games will be conference contests with an average of five on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. Every school will appear at least once on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
We might never have to deal with CBS College Sports Cable Station that No One Has ever again!
The conference bigwigs are pretty happy about the announcement, too. Of course they are; money is involved.
Bob Kustra-Boise State President
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with ESPN as this new agreement provides more visibility and exposure for our programs. The WAC and ESPN will both benefit under this new contract."
Translation: "Ready the climate-controlled Lincoln Towncar, Jeeves. We're going yacht shopping."
Rob Spear-Idaho AD
"This is very exciting for the WAC and for our athletic program. When the University of Idaho accepted membership into the WAC we anticipated increased television exposure and revenue. This package accomplishes both."
No word on whether the university anticipated increased losing.
ESPN extension caps off terrific 20 months [WACSports.com]
WAC television schedule [WACSports.com]