This week, the Mountain West announced a new television deal that, among other things, will see football games broadcast on CBS Sports and Fox Sports networks. That’s a departure from the prior deal which gave ESPN the rights to Boise State home games, and it also means that an attractive Florida State at Boise State matchup could end up being a Big Noon Kickoff game.
Ron Counts broke down the new deal here at the Idaho Statesman:
Beginning with the 2020 season, CBS Sports will have rights to Boise State away games and Fox will own the rights to the Broncos’ home games. Games could air on CBS, Fox, CBS Sports Network, FS1 or FS2.
Boise State football has appeared on an ESPN-affiliated channel 119 times since 1999. The Broncos likely won’t be on ESPN at least until a potential bowl game in 2020, because the only nonconference road game is at Marshall, whose conference doesn’t have a deal with ESPN, either.
The move comes with significant risk in terms of viewership. Only five regular-season games on FS1 drew 1 million viewers in 2019, compared to 66 on ESPN or its related cable channels. But the Mountain West’s new deal will be lucrative for the conference.
The contract is for six years, and Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said it’s worth $270 million, but he declined to break down how the money will be distributed to the conference’s 11 full-time members (Hawaii is a football-only member). Boise State will continue to receive the same additional revenue it received in the previous deal, Thompson said.
Fox having the rights to Boise home games means they’re technically in the running for a Big Noon Kickoff appearance, although there’s an obvious time zone issue. Big Noon Eastern Time is 10 AM in Boise. Fox Sports president Mark Silverman is already suggesting that this fall’s Florida State trip to Boise on September 19th could make for an ideal candidate, even if it means an early local kick.
Mark Silverman says Fox is working to make the 2020 Boise State-Florida State game in Boise a Big Noon kickoff with Fox bringing its talent to Boise for the game (Sept. 19). Of note: This is the last time BSU's home games will be negotiated separately from the rest of the MW.
— Chris Murray (@MurrayNSN) January 9, 2020
Kick times in the morning are typically not something any school wants to do, but considering the schools and the opportunity, it seems like we might have one week of Big Noon Kickoff set already.