As things stand, the Mountain West Conference has broadcast rights deals with CBS Sports Network and ESPN. In combination, these deals are worth $1.1 million per year for most members of the league.
It’s a nice chunk, but a million bucks barely gets you your coordinators hired these days in college football, and the Mountain West is now considering junking TV deals in favor of contracts with streaming services, in order to better serve their audience, the Coloradoan reports.
Fans across the Mountain West are grumbling more and more about the league’s late-night games.
Attendance at those games is declining, and administrators are beginning to question whether the $1.1 million a year most are receiving from the league’s broadcast partners — CBS-Sports Network and ESPN — are worth the additional exposure.
The conference might even cut the cord entirely, going the way of millions of millennials and others who are dropping their cable and satellite TV packages in favor of digital alternatives, when its current contracts expire after the 2019-2020 school year. Five of the largest pay-TV providers in the country lost a combined 527,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year alone, Reuters reported Friday.
This is already a thing. Amazon is paying $50 million this year to stream 10 NFL games. Twitter streamed full NFL games last year, and Google and YouTube are both interested in streaming live events, too.
Naturally, there is a good bit of math to be worked out here. What is your average Mountain West football game worth to Google? We can safely say it would be a good deal less than the $2.6 billion rights agreement the Big Ten signed last week. And if you’re not getting offer-you-can’t-refuse money, other factors take a more prominent role in the overall calculus.
At Colorado State, for example, there is some interest in making Colorado State games easily watchable for students of Colorado State University. A novel concept.
“We’re trying to keep up with the times, and part of it is generational,” Thompson said. “You’ve got a couple hundred thousand students that are 18 to 20 years old on our campuses. They’re not watching cable; they’re not watching satellite. They have a Netflix account, and they’re doing social media.
” … How do people consume their information?”
Oh, but there’s just one problem. It’s a large group of people. Can you guess who it is?
Yes, you’re right.
It’s the Baby Boomers.
But the 60- to 70-year-olds, who make up the majority of donors that purchase luxury suites, fund scholarships and help pay the coaches’ salaries, want to be able to sit down on their couch on Saturday and watch games on broadcast, cable and satellite TV networks that they can’t attend in person.
So enjoy your 8:15 p.m. kickoffs, Rams.