Mountain West’s Late Night Kick Offs Bring Value
Being out West is a good thing
Expect late kicks to continue
The Mountain West is just one of two FBS leagues out West that covers the Mountain and Pacific time zones. This means there are few options for TV networks to air college football teams in those time zones.
That is why CBS Sports and FOX with the Mountain West and previously ESPN usually air games that start around the 7 p.m. Pacific Time Zone hour.
That is not ideal for fans with young kids, road team fans, and sometimes just getting home after 1 a.m. local time is a pain in the butt.
Commissioner Craig Thompson was on KSL Sports Zone in Salt Lake City and he noted that being flexible with kick-off times is how the Mountain West is able to maximize its media rights deal.
“I think the best case scenario is that the Pac-12 signs a deal with ESPN and no longer on FOX,” Thompson said. “So, the only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday late window is us. That just makes us more valuable, and hopefully, at that point, we could consider renegotiations. Not sure if we wanted to extend our contract because we went short on purpose.
“I look at that as a potential real positive because right now we share those windows with the Pac-12.”
Being the only game in town on FOX or CBS Sports Network could force FOX a bit to pay more to have more games on in the evening. That is, if the Mountain West could negotiate a new deal as Thompson suggests.
The Pac-12, if on ESPN, would still be competition but FOX would want to make sure it has a Western footprint for the evening games such as the 10:30 p.m. ET kick on over-the-air FOX this year between Fresno State and USC.
FOX could add another late broadcast game when it’s warranted and overall they would not want to be shut out in the evenings out West with no college football.