Between CBS and ESPN, the Mountain West can have up to 44 football games and 56 men's basketball games aired on the networks' platforms the national TV bonuses don't apply to web-only platforms or ESPNU while being able to sell other games and packages to regional networks.
ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy was the first to report the combined deals would net the Mountain West up to $18 million a year. Neither the conference nor ESPN had officially disclosed the financial terms of the deal, including how much each school could make, but other reporters have confirmed the figure and the Mountain West has not contradicted it.
What does this mean for Utah State? More money, and more exposure.
In the 2011-2012 season, Sports Illustrated reported that eight WAC schools each received $104,873 in television revenue. The $18 million the Mountain West could make in its latest set of contracts will be unevenly split with Boise State, but will still be much more than the Aggies earned this past season.
The biggest effect, however, might just be the attention that comes with being on ESPN. If Utah State's football team continues to be competitive, the Aggies could become in demand for national games, including those with the widely familiar Boise State. Coaches will tell you that being on ESPN, perhaps moreso than any other channel, offers branding opportunities and opens up recruiting areas that may not have been previously available.
That may also be a boon to basketball, which has been a big part of the Mountain West this year as well. With five NCAA tournament teams, the added exposure on television in the next seven years could help increase interest in the league. It goes a long way to helping Utah State's basketball team recruit or build a recognized NCAA Tournament profile, among other benefits.
Said MWC commish Craig Thompson in a statement: "Our goal is to maximize exposure opportunities. These deals with CBS Sports Network and ESPN accomplish just that."
The Mountain West is finalizing its schedule, hoping to have conference games and television rights settled in April. Utah State's non-conference games are unaffected by the deal.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon