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College Football Insider

Mountain West nears seven-year, $116 million media rights deal

The Mountain West Conference expects a total media rights package -- including a likely football championship game with ESPN and digital rights -- to eclipse $20 million per year, according to a league source.

The league briefed members on the details this week, including an annual slate of football and men's basketball games being sold to ESPN. That deal is not yet finalized but is close.

CBS Sports Network, the league's primary rights holder, agreed to release inventory to the Mountain West in December.

ESPN reported the seven-year ESPN deal, which will include Boise State home games. While the deal, which ESPN reported will reach $116 million, would increase the league's revenue to about $18 million annually, a league source with knowledge of the negotiations said the total average should reach $20 million or above once the title game and digital rights are finalized.

Boise's presence will undoubtedly tilt that average.

Six of the 22 games sold to ESPN will be in Bronco Stadium, according to ESPN. Under a bonus plan crafted in late December when Boise reneged its Big East pledge for a return West, the MWC will pay teams up to $300,000 for nationally-televised football games.

The league also has agreed to a 50-50 revenue split for a team that makes it to a BCS bowl game.

The return of Boise and San Diego State gives the Mountain West 12 teams, facilitating a title game.

The Big East will be paid roughly $20 million annually from 2014-20 after securing a long-term deal with ESPN. The Big East, which lost the Catholic 7 schools in a messy breakup, also could get a kick from CBS for its basketball package.

 
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