BYU had until Sept 1st (Wednesday of this week) to let the Mountain West Conference know their intentions for the 2011 season.
BYU made its decision and announced earlier today that they will be going independent in football and joining the West Coast Conference for their other sports.
BYU has been in discussions with ESPN to work out a TV contract but so far there’s been no word of any specifics.
Its expected that BYU will utilise BYU-TV (their university/church owned station) to air sporting events and other athletic purposes.
This, of course, is being said to be the primary reason for BYU leaving the MWC. The TV contract for the MWC was split evenly to all schools in the conference and the money was not great in the first place. By going independent and broadcasting games over their own nework, BYU stands to gain a lot more money just on TV alone.
There are numerous people who think the exposure will greatly increase with broadcasting over BYU-TV as opposed to “the MTN” channel. I’m not sure this is true, necessarily, because BYU-TV, to most, is as unknown a channel to most as “the MTN” is.
Should BYU work out a contract with ESPN, their exposure increases, obviously.
The most unfortunate aspect of BYU’s decision is of course the fact that the WCC only fields 13 of BYU’s 19 sports programs.
Written by Dan Condie