The mtn, which is the Mountain West Conference’s channel for all things relating to the conference, will be shutting down on May 31, reports John Ourand of Sports Business Daily.
The network, founded in 2006 as the first singular conference network, seemed to be in a state of flux with the questionable future of the Mountain West Conference, which has SOMETHING going on with Conference USA, be it a merger or some other business relationship. The MWC has also been destroyed over the past year, with dominant football programs BYU, Utah, TCU, and Boise State leaving (or signing agreements to leave) the conference.
During its lifespan, the mtn had a decent reach to viewers, being in 13 million homes. As a comparison, Big Ten Network is in 40 million households with a total reach of 73 million. The MWC’s conference rights for football and basketball games are expected to be picked up by the CBS Sports Network, which dwarfs the mtn’s reach by being in 45 million homes.
With mtn shuttering its doors, you have to wonder what the future holds for another network caught in the crossfire of conference realignment – Longhorn Network. LHN has a much smaller viewer base than the mtn, and is only available on one major provider in Texas (Verizon FIOS). Longhorn Network has failed to get off the ground and secure a major agreement for carriage. However, with the Big XII on the verge of a deal with ESPN and Fox, it may secure the conference for the foreseeable future and give LHN the needed programming to expand its viewership. With continuing conference realignment and formation of conference and team-specific networks, one has to wonder when the game of musical chairs will ever end. The mtn stands as one of the casualties of that game.