The Mountain West TV bonus structure in football was determined by the network, day of the week and opponent;that was basically the luck of the draw. Boise State has a side deal where they are guaranteed a certain number of home games on the World Wide Leader and giving them an edge.
Basically, any game that was on the tier of ESPN2 or higher would earn that extra money, plus local channels like ABC or CBS.
Some teams were given and advantage by just playing in the Mountain Division with Boise State and then hurting teams from the West Division since opponents are rotated. Other times it was what ESPN needed air on a certain channel and day that could determine a school’s budget.
That is about to change starting this year.
“We have institutions that get $500,000 in television revenue and some that get $1.5 million, just by the luck of the draw,” commissioner Craig Thompson told the Reno Gazette-Journal this past summer. “We have an institution that hasn’t had one of the top-five win-loss records in the league in football and they’ve made the third-most TV revenue just because of the luck of the draw: ESPN needs an ESPN2 game on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 29 and the schedule works out, so you get the golden ticket.”
Instead of paying out this bonus money based on the network and day of the week, the Mountain West will spread that money out equally, with the exception of Hawaii who has their own TV deal with Time Warner Oceanic.
This move was announced back in July of 2016 and this is the first year that each school will earn approximately $1.1 million from the league, and Boise State also will earn an additional $1.8 million per year from the ESPN, according to the Idaho Statesman.
That means the Broncos will take home about $2.9 million per year, because their deal with ESPN is still being included with this restructuring from the bonus structure.
For those who forget, Boise State gets this extra pay, and more games on ESPN, because the Mountain West needed to lure the Broncos back to the league as they were on their way to the Big East.
Unequal pay within a conference and can cause in-fighting, and look know further than the Big 12 where Texas was earning more money and that led to the conference losing Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M. The Mountain West will not be losing teams but with no place for Boise State to go to another league it would make sense for the Mountain West to go back to equal pay for the next media rights deal.