Is the Mountain West's Network, "the Mtn.", a boon or a bane for the Mountain West conference and its quest for visibility and acceptance? Since the MW parted ways with its ESPN viewership and ushered in the first conference network, on September 1st, 2006, there has been disagreement about the Mtn.'s ability to offer the MW the kind of platform it needs to showcase it's teams, not only nation wide, but even in it's own regions. This inability has exacerbated the difficulty some member institutions have had in reaching larger audiences, both in recruiting and in advertising, and has arguably led to the defections of some of the more prominent institutions for larger, better paying and more visible conferences, or even for no affiliation at all.
The contract offered to the member institutions of the Mountain West is between $1.4 - $1.9 million annually. While better than the contract offered to the WAC conference by ESPN, which offers its member institutions a little under $500,000 annually, this pales in comparison to the contracts offered the so-called AQ conferences. So what can the MW do about the woeful state of affairs in relation to its TV contract? Quite a bit: the contract with Comcast is upon the calendar year 2012. There is an outdated article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser, which is one of the few to discuss the issues involved with the MW contracts, that outlines some of the issues involved. More importantly, what can all of the MW fans do about the predicament the fearless leaders of the MW failed to see coming?
For those of you, who haven't seen this site on the the Mtn's website, here is what you can do to get the Mtn. better distribution, in more areas. This could then lead to more advertising revenue and provider fees, and hopefully, more overall funding for the member institutions:
Fans, like you, we would like extended distribution of our network. To do this, we encourage your support by making your voice heard and letting distributors know that you would like to see The Mtn.
Distribution decisions are made by viewer demand so every call, email and letter will help.
~ Thank you.
Contact your cable or satellite provider and tell them "You Want The Mtn."
Cable / Satellite Provider Phone Number Website AT&T Uverse Ph: 800.288.2020 www.att.com Charter Communications Ph: 888.438.2427 www.charter.com
Live Chat (current customers)
Comcast Ph: 800.266.2278
Dish Network Ph: 888.581.9813 or
Live Chat (current customers)
Time Warner - San Diego Ph: 888.892.2253 Time Warner - North Texas Ph: 972.742.5892
Verizon FIOS Ph: 888.881.8161
As it stands, subscribers to Direct TV and Comcast can get the Mtn., but Dish and certain areas with Time Warner cannot (see above for more details). That means the Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego areas could not watch their MW teams, unless they had specific network subscriptions. This is cited as the primary reason, by the presidents of BYU and Utah, for wanting to leave the MW. It is no doubt a leading reason for SDSU and TCU wanting out of the MW: more money, more availability to the local residents and more exposure.
If you subscribe to any of these providers, please contact them early and often to vigorously campaign for the Mtn.'s inclusion into their respective programming additions. They will only do so, if a significant amount of requests are made, and no one knows how many it takes to reach the critical mass, which would warrant inclusion. Get active and get the Mtn. included, so that the remaining MW institutions get the increased funding and visibility they deserve!