After years of late night games at Albertsons Stadium, could Boise State fans get a chance at breakfast on The Blue?
Boise State home football games will be broadcast on Fox Networks beginning next season, replacing ESPN as part of the new Mountain West media rights deal. Fox Sports President Mark Silverman said the network was looking into bringing its Big Noon Kickoff show to Boise for the Broncos’ game against Florida State on Sept. 19.
The Big Noon Kickoff, a pregame show introduced this past season to rival ESPN’s College GameDay, led into Fox’s marquee game of the day in the first time slot of the afternoon. Silverman said during a conference call that a visit to Boise from co-hosts Urban Meyer, Reggie Bush and Charles Woodson, among others, would indeed be followed by a 10 a.m. Mountain time zone kickoff for the game.
“As we look at creating special events in the sports world, whether it’s an outdoor hockey game, whether it’s Midnight Madness, sometimes special time frames make the game more unique,” Silverman said. “No one has talked about doing anything on a regular basis, but we believe on occasion it could create a heck of a lot of interest. We actually believe if we are able to kick that game at 10 a.m., and it would be airing on the FOX broadcast network, it’ll most likely be the highest rated Boise State football game in at least five to seven years.”
In addition to their deal with Fox, the Mountain West announced it had retained its partnership with CBS Sport as its primary partner. CBS will have the rights to Boise State’s four Mountain West road games each season under the six-year deal which will run through 2025-26. Fox will replace ESPN, which had previously broadcast all Boise State home games, as the league’s secondary partner.
“We’ve enjoyed working with them over the years,” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said about ESPN, which has often been credited in part in helping with the rise of Boise State. “They’ve been outstanding partners and friends, and we’ll continue to be partners with them in the years ahead through agreements with at least four ESPN-owned bowl games on an annual basis, several men’s basketball games and potential road games.”
Boise State, which has its television deal negotiated separately from the rest of the Mountain West deal, will still get a share of the Mountain West deal that is equal to the other 10 full time members. Under the previous deal, Boise State got $1.8 million per year from its own deal and $1.1 million a year from its Mountain West share. Thompson said he wasn’t exactly sure how the new deal would break down, but the rights fees sold for a combined $270 million over the course of the six-year deal, with an additional third-tier deal currently being negotiated.
Thompson also added that this would be the last deal where Boise State had its rights negotiated separately from the rest of the conference.
The CBS deal will include 23 football games on either CBS or CBS Sports, with a minimum of three on the CBS’s broadcast network. CBS will get the first seven picks of Mountain West-controlled games, then alternate picks with Fox.
Fox will get 16-23 regular season games on Fox, FS1 or FS2, with a minimum of seven on Fox or FS1. Fox Sports will also have the broadcast right to the Mountain West Championship Game. Both networks will also be allowed a maximum of five Friday night games, not including special dates such as zero week, Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving week.
As part of the deal, games will not kickoff later than 8 p.m. local time, with games on Fox only being able to go as late as 7:45 p.m. local time. This past season, Boise State had eight games, including four at home, that started at 8:15 p.m. or later. Road games against teams Mountain West opponents in the Pacific time zone could still have a later start time, but games at Albertsons Stadium will start a little earlier.
“That’s something we battled for and during the course of this contract we’ve really tried to do the best we can for our fans,” Boise State athletics director Curt Apsey told KTIK Thursday during his weekly ‘Ask The AD’ segment on Idaho Sports Talk. “Hopefully that helps, it’s a 30- or 45-minute difference, but I think that’s a big deal. Hopefully it gets fans excited as a little bit earlier start. We were very pleased with that part of the contract.”
The deal also includes 32 regular season men’s basketball games on CBS or CBS Sports Network, with a minimum of two each year on CBS. Fox Networks will get 16-32 games annually, with a minimum of 12 of Fox or FS1.
CBS will retain the rights to the Mountain West Tournament, with the stipulation that the championship game be played during the NCAA Tournament selection weekend on CBS. Semifinal and quarterfinal games will be played on CBS Sports Network.