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MWC, ESPN Close to Deal

A seven-year media rights deal is close to completion that will televise nearly 50 Mountain West football and men's basketball games.

Otto Kitsinger III

The World Wide Leader is finally taking notice.

Sources told ESPN this afternoon that the Mountain West Conference and ESPN were closing in on a seven-year media rights deal. The agreement is expected to allow the network to televise 22 football games—including all six of Boise State's home gamesand 25 men's basketball games.

The deal brings the total media rights revenue for the Mountain West to around $116 million, which includes the conference's preexisting deal with CBS Sports Network. The $18 million annually works out to roughly $1.5 million distributed to each of the Mountain West's 12 schools.

While the monetary increase isn't staggering, the deal will undoubtedly entrench the Mountain West in the national spotlight. The trickle-down effect on recruitingespecially from a football perspectivecould be immense.

The deal is similar to the one ESPN struck with the Big East football schools just two weeks ago, paying the conference around $20 million annually and extending through the 2019-20 season.