Scott D. Pierce: Contrary to commissioner's report, MWC did not improve its TV profile

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  • BleedAggieBlue
    Aug. 20, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    Yeah, could you imagine, SMU, TCU, BYU, Houston? BSU, CSU, join the WAC. Now that would be one heck of a conference. Maybe try to bring Oklahoma State!

  • duckhouse
    Aug. 20, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    If I was BYU I wouldn't even give it a second thought-------------go for it. We love you Cougs.

  • caleb in new york
    Aug. 20, 2010 5:57 p.m.

    earlier I meant to type:

    upon further thought - the general idea of Pierce's article is correct but the title or headline of Pierce's article is probably NOT because I think TV profile doesn't mean money earned per school.

  • USportsFan
    Aug. 20, 2010 5:15 p.m.


    After reading several posts on here, I'd have to disagree with you... to a point. I don't think that they should go to the WAC. I think that they should band together in a new conference that has the elite from the MWC and a couple others.

    BYU, TCU, BSU, Air Force, Hawaii, Houston, UNLV...

    First if you have them join the WAC, they'd have the bottom dwellers that nobody wanted to have that have been left there. So, I think that a fresh new conference would be a better choice.

    I think that Thompson is a horrible commissioner and should be fired. It was a smart move to destroy the WAC to keep BYU from leaving. But then he lied about it.

    Get a brand new conference and you don't have the crappy commissioner, no bad TV contract, no bottom dwelling teams... and you could possibly quickly get an AQ status if you have high enough quality.

    However, I don't think that there is enough time this year to get a new conference this year. Possibly next? If only Utah wouldn't have left...

    Aug. 20, 2010 2:30 p.m.

    This is a great article. AS a true Ute fan I applaud BYU for looking to go independant. They have their own network that I believe is HD and could broadcast to their fans nationwide. An ESPN contract would be a great option as well.
    I don't see an upside when it comes to TV revenues, recruiting talent across the country by staying with the MWC.
    Sooner than later the MWC needs to address the big elephant in the room. Their TV contract is counter productive to the progressive sports programs these schools have. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
    Until then, I'm counting the days for college football to begin. Bring it!!

  • SportzFan
    Aug. 20, 2010 2:10 p.m.

    BYU, TCU, Boise State need to band together go to the Conference that already HAS an ESPN contract -- the WAC -- and renegotiate that contract. ESPN won't want the WAC to fail, so they should be happy to do that -- especially if they gain TCU and BYU in the process and get Boise back (small market, but exciting football that people across the nation want to watch).

  • oldone
    Aug. 20, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    @mountains 101 - BYU started this long before "months ago" and has made no secret about it. They have wanted changes and improvements to the TV deal for a long time both for them and the rest of the MWC. How long were they supposed to keep waiting in a conference whose response to their concerns has always been that they won't make concessions for anyone?

    The revenue being generated by the mtn deal is mostly because of BYU and they share the proceeds with everyone else. In my view the Y has been very patient for years trying to make a bad situation better and has finally given up.

    Name another team in the MWC that could go independent and get ESPN to consider offering them the kind of money they are offering BYU.

    If Scott is right then BYU gave up 10 million dollars last year in order to be a team player in the MWC and try once more to make the mtn work.

    You can only do that for so long.

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
    Aug. 20, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    Great article. The best I've seen and it's very interesting it comes from a TV guy. Shows you how much college football is influenced by TV, which in turn shows you why BYU is trying so hard to make something happen. The MTN is really hurting BYU.

    I don't know how you got the 2 million figure but if that's true it shows you exactly how much staying in the MWC costs.

    The only reason they aren't gone already is because they are trying their hardest to found a good landing spot for all the other student athletes.

    I hope they can do it and I hope the # of games I have to watch on the MTN will be numbered! Watching BYU on the MTN is no better than watching Timpview on Iprovo.

  • mountains101
    Aug. 20, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    The comments from Thompson are true if you accept the fact that BYU has not left the conference yet. Of course if they leave they are worse off, but FOR NOW BYU is still in the MWC. Wait until it's all done before closing the door on all this. And for the record, BYU started all this months ago...

  • Johnny Triumph
    Aug. 20, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    Let's look at this a little differently.

    BYU and the rest left the WAC in 1999 for the promise of greater exposure and revenue by running their own conference TV network. That promise obviously didn't pan out and so BYU is investigating better options, seeing that ESPN and others would be interested in paying BYU for games, and paying well.

    I agree that a network like ESPN would be interested in airing games on the west coast, but I'm sure they don't want a sub-par product either. A new conference of mostly original WAC teams would make sense, and I think the MWC has no payment required to exit the conference. But I'd think that it would have to pay off big for BYU to play into that scenario...especially if their own efforts can pay them a bunch more.

    BYU's concern right now is all non-football sports. If it were only up to football then there's no way this would still be discussed.

  • BYUBlue65
    Aug. 20, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    This projected move is about MONEY and EXPOSURE! What the Mountain West was/is offering is ludicrous.

    If BYU can make more in one ESPN game and not split it, then this move is a no-brainer! BYU could get up to the $10 million range and control their own destiny!

    Can they get good games?

    Even if they only got 4-6 games out of the WAC, take a look at the following possibilities?

    Boise State...In

    Several more from the NM, SDSU, UNLV.

    Now, we're up to 8-10 games...without a sweat.

    Add in Texas, Oklahoma, etc


    A few from PAC 1-


    We're not counting the Florida States, and so on from SEC

    What about with Army, Notre Dame, Navy?

    What about any of the rest of the big boys?

    How about a few marshmellow teams to schedule.

    ESPN and the LDS Church wouldn't take this move on unless it made sense. Hello?

    With their HD studio, etc, the Y might be turning good teams away. ESPN covets their HD truck.

    With ESPN scheduling teams will want to come to all sports!

  • caleb in new york
    Aug. 20, 2010 10:37 a.m.

    upon further thought - the general idea of Pierce's article is correct but the title or headline of Pierce's article is probably because I think TV profile doesn't mean money earned per school.

  • Snark
    Aug. 20, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    Thanks for calling Thomson out on his unabashed and selfserving disdain for the truth. He gives the impression that President Samuelson (BYU) was on the phone conference with the other MWC Presidents when they approved the move to invite Nevada and Fresno.

    Craig, tap your ruby slippers and keep repeating - "there's no place like home ... there's no place like home"

  • caleb in new york
    Aug. 20, 2010 10:18 a.m.

    Pierce's main conclusion is absolutely wrong.

    The MWC might not have improved its position of money earned from the TV deal per school in the conference.

    However, the MWC definitely improved its overall TV profile. Adding the Reno and Fresno markets definitely improves the overall TV profile, even if its only by a little portion, even if the money earned per school from the TV deal does not increase. Adding the North Dakota market would improve the the overall TV profile, even though it would only marginally improve it.

  • Tuffy Parker
    Aug. 20, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    Great article and right on the money. Thompson is and has always been disingenuous at best...

    Also great to see some insightful and intelligent posts after all the hyperbole and mudslinging that's been going on for the last couple of days.

  • hedgelog
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    Hedgehog you are the only one I see with insufferable arrogance. Go back to the u article, if there is one.

    Aug. 20, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    Fresno st is comparable to San Diego St. and Nevada is comparable to Wyoming in attendance. Nice move Thompson. NOT!!! Pathetic!!! This does nothing for tv revenue. If the reports are true that BYU can make 1.5-2.5 million dollars a home game, then Why are they waiting? My guess is BYU is worried about the other sports.

  • nehu
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    As much as I love poking fun at Cougars it is true that ESPN very well may build a new conference around a team like the Y. BYU stepped out and made the move to free itself of the MWC, DON'T BE STUPID ENOUGH TO GO BACK. Go back to the MTN WEST? Really? Even if you are only back in the MTN West in "other" sports it would be completely lame. Andy Katz and others from ESPN have said some interesting things the past week. They've alluded to a new conference. I would definitely wait and see before saying anything, which to date is exactly what they've done, so good move BYU. If you tuck the tail and head back to the MWC you will become about as smart as Fresno and Nevada who basically went from a TV deal to no TV deal (in low definition). Craig Thompson despite throwing a nice counter is still no smarty pants, I mean even if he killed the WAC he is still not in the BCS and he STILL has the lamest network in college sports. Versus is better than the freaking MTN channel in low def.

  • Tuffy Parker
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    Great article and right on the money. Thompson is and has always been disingenuous at best...

    Also great to see some insightful and intelligent posts after all the hyperbole and mudslinging that's been going on for the last couple of days.

  • Veracity
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Is CT a lawyer?...if not, he should be...what a bag!

  • sls
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:12 a.m.

    This is the most intelligent article I've seen on the Mountain West conference rumors. I guess all the sportswriters and internet bloggers just don't understand the business of college sports.

  • MichiganCoog
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:11 a.m.

    All great comments. The one about ESPN being behind the creation of another conference makes a whole world of sense, because they are losing all their contracts. What is left of the WAC is now a complete joke, and with the PAC-10 signing their new deal supposedly w/ FOX, ESPN is in a quandry. They have always had a love for what BYU has brought to the table, and was their darling back in the late 80's and 90's when they consistently aired BYU games on Thursday and Friday nights. Now that their more recent darling (Boise State) has joined the MWC, and now under that lousy MTN TV package, they have no presence in the western US. You can bet the farm that they were behind BYU's attempt to go independant, and certainly may be conjuring up a plan to start a new conference that would consist of AFA, BSU, BYU, CSU, TCU, Houston, UNLV, SDSU as a way to maximize the best bang for their bucks, and with BYU's TV station could make some serious dough (relatively speaking). I'm sure this won't happen overnight, but just watch and see...

  • hedgehog
    Aug. 20, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    "ESPN is going to build a new conference with BYU."

    Joe Schmoe,

    Your insufferable arrogance is Y the Y is so hated. The sad delusional thinking that ESPN thinks BYU is worthy of its own conference is flat out ridiculous. Mormons will watch BYU athletics, I get it — but your time tested insecurities are showing when you think ESPN thinks BYU is worthy of its own conference.

    Holmoe is being proactive it what everyone outside the bubble already knows, The BCS conferences have no interest in BYU. BYU will need to create its own happiness, but as history has proven, Kewgs desperately seek the approval of the outside world.

  • Fan
    Aug. 20, 2010 7:52 a.m.

    Re SportsFan,
    I agree with you but I'd take it a step further. Why not get the other big teams from the MWC to come over to the WAC as well. The MWC TV contract is a killer and the WAC has ESPN tie-ins already. Neither conference is good now, so I would pitich a new WAC to be a BCS conference...

    Utah State
    Fresno State
    Air Force
    Boise State
    Houston or UTEP

    This is 12 teams and elimiates any talk of other teams being good enough to get a BCS bid.

  • Joe Schmoe
    Aug. 20, 2010 7:17 a.m.

    Thompson sealed his own fate this last week.

    ESPN is going to build a new conference with BYU.

    Wait and see.

  • SportsFan
    Aug. 20, 2010 6:38 a.m.

    Nevada and Fresno State would be much better off convincing UNLV and SDSU to join them in the WAC, exchange UTEP for La. Tech and then renegotiate the WAC ESPN contract.

    New WAC Football
    Utah State
    Fresno State
    San Jose State
    New Mexico State

    For all other sports
    Utah State
    Fresno State
    San Jose State
    New Mexico State

  • OnlyInUtah
    Aug. 20, 2010 6:19 a.m.

    The MWC has been a joke since it began. It was a true blessing that Utah was invited to leave and we can only hope and pray that BYU finds a way out too.

  • Rob of NV
    Aug. 20, 2010 5:30 a.m.

    Thompson is following the same logic as the old 16-team super conference WAC. Lots of teams in good places, but teams that played second fiddle to BCS or more popular teams in the area. I would have found Thompson more believable about the expansion decision as not a response to BYU's decision if they would have added Houston, UTEP and or Tulsa. However, his target was only WAC teams. Most analyses of expansion that I have read on the MWC included Fresno State, Houston and possibly Tulsa and/or UTEP. Nevada was way down the list because they bring nothing to the table in TV ratings.

  • SJ Bobkins
    Aug. 20, 2010 4:03 a.m.

    Sadly CT only diluted the very small TV money by adding the two teams, and I haven't a clue what inviting USU was supposed to do other than head off BYU. He lied about BYU being involved in the voting to invite the three schools and he lied about "being pushed" by Comcast and CBS to add new markets. BYU has owed the SLC market forever, Utah along with USU are pathetically behind. Looking at the news stories shows how much more attention BYU gets BECAUSE readers demand it. After distilling the actions of the past two days, I don't know who did worse the WAC or MWC. Nevada and Fresno haven't been winners outside their own league, Fresno has poor B-ball and F-ball attendance but larger facilities, Nevada has the NCAA mandated 30,000 seat stadium, but 20,000 a game draws. Starting with USU the attendance has been behind the "must" 15,000 min for at least 10 years, as has Idaho, NMS, with SJS being just over. I appreciate USU standing behind their promises, but a more self-serving press release I've never seen.

  • Utes 31 Tide 17
    Aug. 20, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    Pierce is right on the money, as always, when it comes to college football on TV.

    Boise is a poor man's Utah and Nevada/Fresno are even poorer substitutes for BYU. The MWC is finally paying the piper for it's horrible TV and bowl deals.

    The moral of the story: Never, under any circumstances, hire Bill Dole or any of those arrogant clowns on the Mtn.