When schools like Boise State and Hawaii bust into the BCS party, people take notice. When Fresno State wins the NCAA baseball championship, people take notice.

And when people take notice, television giants like ESPN want to get in on the action.

Wednesday, ESPN and the Western Athletic Conference announced an extension of their current television contract. The new deal will not only last through the 2016-17 school year, but will significantly increase the exposure the league receives as well as increase the money spends for the rights to WAC games.

"This truly shows that the WAC has reestablished itself as one of the premier conferences in the country," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said.

Financial details of the new contract were not disclosed, but Benson said the contract's dollars are "significant and a substantial increase."

Perhaps more importantly than the extra funds each school will receive is the extra national exposure that will come from the contract.

Each school is guaranteed that at least one football and one men's basketball game will be broadcast, and each men's basketball team is assured a slot in the ESPN BracketBuster weekend.

"The WAC's success has been well documented," ESPN's Burke Magnus said. "We recognized the need to reward them."

Magnus and Benson have been hammering out details of a contract extension for more than a year and finally got to the point where both parties felt comfortable in signing the dotted line. And though some details are still being worked out — such as a specific night and time slot for games — both parties said the new agreement was "mutually beneficial."

"College sports, for our company, is part of our DNA," Magnus said.

He added that ESPN is in a position of requiring certain things from its broadcast partners and one of the unofficial rules is that schools and conferences must "play their way on" to the network.

"It's very gratifying when we have the opportunity to reward somebody for doing just that," he said.

The previous contract was set to expire after next year and did not include newer ESPN properties such as ESPNU and ESPN 360. The new contract will expand the WAC's broadcast to those outlets as well as give the conference a foot in the door for ABC broadcasts if compelling games arise.

"The next seven or eight years are going to be tremendous for the WAC," Benson said.

Here are details of the new deal between ESPN and the WAC:

Football

Exclusive national television home of the conference:

• An annual minimum of 10 games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, including telecasts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

• An annual minimum of six games on ESPNU.

• ESPN Regional Television has the right to syndicate five games annually.

ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV will be able to simulcast any ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC telecast.

• WAC content will also be available on ESPN Classic, ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile Properties.

• Every school will appear at least once on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Men's basketball

Exclusive national television home of the conference:

• An annual minimum of six regular-season games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC as well as one conference tournament semifinal game and the championship during Championship Week.

• An annual minimum of six regular-season games on ESPNU as well as one conference tournament quarterfinal game.

• Every WAC team will participate in the ESPNU BracketBuster event.

ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV will be able to simulcast any ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC telecast.

• WAC content will also be available on ESPN Classic, ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile Properties.

• Every school will appear at least once on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Women's Sports

• ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will provide extensive coverage of women's basketball and Olympic sports, including six regular-season events (a combination of basketball, volleyball and softball) in 2008-09. The number of events will increase to seven in 2009-10 and to eight for the remaining years of the contract.

• ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU will televise the volleyball championship each year.

• The conference women's basketball championship will be available on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU annually.