The Mtn. television network will shut down next month, possibly opening a door for the University of Hawaii to keep its lucrative pay-per-view operations for the 2012 football season.
The Mtn. is being shut down May 31 by its owners, NBC Sports and CBS Sports Network, who hold the Mountain West Conference TV contract, the conference said today.
The Mtn.’s historical reluctance to relinquish local TV rights had been point of contention with MWC members over the years and was viewed as a major road block to UH continuing to sell its pay-per-view TV package locally once it joins the MWC July 1.
UH receives an average of about $2.5 million a year through its local TV and PPV rights.
"Based upon conference discussion, I’m hopeful that this is a step towards being able to have some inventory for Hawaii football pay-per-view this year," UH athletic director Jim Donovan told the Star-Advertiser.
"This is likely a step in the right direction but there are probably a few steps needed," he said.
The change comes as the MWC and Conference USA negotiate with their TV partners toward a merger for 2013.
MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson said, "This is simply one step in the ongoing, evolutionary process which is focused on developing a new organization and structure for our member institutions. The goals continue to be creating greater stability, broader exposure platforms and increased revenue, and we are progressing in each of those areas with the appropriate parties."