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Scott D. Pierce: BSU fans should get used to channel surfing

Published: Friday, June 18 2010 11:57 p.m. MDT

Boise State fans, say hello to the Mountain West Conference.

And say goodbye to local broadcasts of the Broncos' football games.

Welcome to our world ...

This past season, six of BSU's 13 games were telecast on KTVB, the NBC affiliate in Boise. You know, the way BYU games used to be telecast on KSL and Utah games used to be telecast on Ch. 14 here.

The Broncos' contract with the station calls for all available games to be telecast on the station this season — and there are currently five games that are not airing on an ESPN network or CBS C. So chances are fans up in Boise will be able to watch several games on over-the-air TV.

That's going to end in 2011. As fans here in the Beehive state are well aware, there are no — zip, zero, nada — local telecasts of MWC football games.

BSU games will be on TV, no doubt. Only a handful of games played by the current members of the MWC aren't televised on The mtn., CBS C or Versus. And those tend to be the lower-echelon teams playing FCS competition.

But BSU games won't be on KTVB.

Nor will they be on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. As opposed to this season, when Boise will appear on those channels seven times.

As Boise fans will soon discover, the only time their team can be on an ESPN network is if the Broncos are playing an away game against an opponent in a conference that has a contract with ESPN. And only if ESPN wants the game.

If BSU was in the MWC this season, that would be possible once — that game at Virginia Tech. (We're substituting MWC games for WAC games in these situations.)

In 2011, that will be possible twice — the games at Mississippi State and Toledo.

Last season, when Boise was on an ESPN channel seven times, that would have been possible twice — at Bowling Green and at Tulsa.

So, welcome to our world.

Just keep reminding yourself that you'll make more money from the MWC's TV deal than you did from the WAC's.

UTES BACK ON LOCAL TV? When Utah moves to the expanded Pac-10 Conference, it's possible they could end up with games on local broadcast TV again.

The key word here is possible.

The Pac-10 has national TV contracts with ESPN/ESPN2/ABC, Fox Sports Net and Versus. Those networks, of course, have priority on conference members' games.

However, they do not telecast all Pac-10 games. And member schools are free to negotiate their own regional contracts for games that aren't on one of the aforementioned networks.

That does not, however, automatically mean that some Utah games would once again end up airing on Ch. 14 or any other local broadcast station. Several Pac-10 schools currently have contracts with their regional Fox Sports Net channels.

You know, the way FSN-Utah has a contract to carry Jazz games.

And, of course, all this could change when the Pac-12 negotiates its next television contract.

Stay tuned ...

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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