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ESPN, Mountain West reach TV deal for football, basketball

By Ferd Lewis & Dave Reardon

LAST UPDATED: 11:00 a.m. HST, Mar 20, 2013

ESPN Inc. announced today it has an "agreement in principle" to televise an assortment of Mountain West Conference football and basketball games from 2013-14 through the 2019-20 season.

The network said it will acquire "exclusive worldwide rights" to televise up to 16 Mountain West football games plus every Boise State home game and up to 31 conference-controlled men's basketball games annually.

Terms of the agreement were not announced but the conference is expected to receive about $18 million in combined revenue from its ESPN and CBS deals. 

The University of Hawaii stands to gain visibility, but the Warriors are a football-only member of the MWC and will not see any revenues from the deals immediately.

School officials have said that under terms of their membership agreement with the conference, the UH will not get revenues until the football shares of the other 11 members exceed $2.3 million each annually. The other members are expected to average about $1.5 million each annually, depending upon bonuses, from the combined deals with ESPN and CBS. 

UH also will not receive the $300,000 bonus for conference-controlled games that air on designated national networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and ESPN2) or the $200,000 bonus for Saturday games on those outlets, UH officials have said.

As part of the deal, the networks said ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC will televise a minimum of three Boise State football home games nationally. It said the Broncos' remaining home contests will either be made available on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3 or ABC. Up to 16 conference-controlled football games per season will be available on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ABC or ESPN3.

Last season ESPN televised four MW football games, including UH's game at Air Force, through a sublicense agreement. 

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