Mountain West football title game could be facing stiff competition for TV viewers

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

There will be a lot of competition for viewership for the Mountain West football championship game.

The 2013 Mountain West football title game has been announced that it will be played on Saturday Dec. 7, 2013. However, that championship Saturday will be very crowded with every other league currently scheduled to play their title game on that Saturday.

Traditionally the MAC has had their title game on Friday night, and the Pac-12 has had their first two title games on Friday night. However, both of those leagues have decided to switch to Saturday, and this is a big deal for the Mountain West if they want people to see the title game.

Also, by having the game on Saturday with so many others it limits the options for CBS to sell the game to another party, however that seems unlikely. The biggest disaster would be for the game to be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network since that channel is still on an upper tier for a lot of cable and satellite providers. Ideally the game would be on regular CBS as a lead-in to the SEC title game, with a 3:30 p.m. ET kick off which would allow the SEC game to kick at 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. ET.

If for some reason that can not be done, then the options get limited quick. There is little chance the game would be on Fox since they have both the Pac-12 and Big Ten title game. The Mountain West would have to agree to a possible 1 p.m. ET or even a noon kick off for their title game, and that would just be unrealistic.

As for being on ESPN or ABC, that could work. More teams are playing on championship week for their season finales, but there could be a reasonable expectation for ABC to pick up that game if allowed and have a nice 3:30 p.m ET kick for a lead-in to either a Big 12 game, or the ACC title game.

The worst scenario -- outside of CBS Sports Network -- would be having the game be shown in primetime, regardless of the channel. The game could be on NBC Sports Network or even ESPN2. There would be too much competition with the Pac-12 or Big Ten title game, the ACC title game and likely a marquee Big 12 game.

One last idea could be to make a change and host the game on Friday Dec. 6, but that would mean possibly placing the game on CBS Sports Network. There would be little to no competition, Friday night is now known for college football and it would be the biggest game on television.

The league has some options but they can not just place the game in primetime on that Saturday and go up against possibly three other very good games.

If the Mountain West basketball title game can be on CBS, then so can the football title game. The best option is to drop the game in mid-afternoon on Saturday prior to the SEC championship game, and as mentioned prior maybe even toss in a Mountain West vs. SEC basketball game on CBS between UNLV at Kentucky for a marquee non-conference hoops game.

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