The closest the BYU football team will come to being on national television this fall won't be because of any deals the Mountain West Conference has made.

The BYU-at-Washington game on Saturday, Sept. 6, has been picked up by Fox Sports Net for a national telecast — and FSN's national games are available in 80 million homes.

That's about 71 percent of the 112.8 million TV-equipped homes in America, and more than Versus, CBS C or The mtn. reach.

The game will be carried by FSN-Utah. So if you get that channel on your cable or satellite system now, you'll be able to watch the game in September.

If you don't live in Utah and your cable or satellite system carries the FSN college football package, you'll also be able to see the Cougars and the Huskies.

(This is a little more nebulous than it might seem because there are so many different Fox Sports Net regional channels out there. And some regional sports networks that don't have "Fox" in their name also carry the FSN college football package.)

Check your local listings ...

BYU AND UTAH are darn near tied in terms of TV exposure this fall.

BYU has seven games on The mtn., two on Versus, one on CBS C, one on FSN and one (at USU) yet to be announced.

Utah has six games on The mtn., two on Versus, one on CBS C, one that apparently won't be televised (home against Weber State) and two TBA (at USU and at Michigan).

The best guess on the games at Utah State is local telecasts on Ch. 14; the best guess on Utah's game at Michigan is one of the Big Ten Network channels.

FSN IN HD: The BYU-Washington game will be telecast in HD. For local viewers, FSN Utah will be in high definition on Comcast Ch. 664, DirecTV Ch. 684-1 and Dish Network Ch. 414.

(FSN Utah is changing channels on DirecTV as of July 2; the standard definition channel will be 684, and the HD channel 684-1.)

Across the nation, the Cougars and Huskies game will be HD on all the systems that offer an HD channel.

WHEN IT WAS announced that the BYU-at-Utah game would be on The mtn. and only The mtn. this November, a lot of local fans (and pundits) took that as perhaps a slap at the Utes and the Cougars.

Even putting local bias aside, the game has been arguably among the most important (if not the most important) in the Mountain West Conference in recent seasons. And The mtn. has by far the lowest distribution of the three channels the MWC has deals with (the others being Versus and CBS C, which simulcast the game last season.)

But there's another way to look at this. The league and The mtn. had to have something of value on the channel that was exclusive ... something that would make The mtn. more valuable to DirecTV ... and maybe the BYU-Utah game was that something.

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