Feb. 22, 2008
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- DIRECTV customers now will have access to Mountain West Conference games and other athletic events through The Mtn. - the Mountain West Sports Network - according to a new contract spearheaded by Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley.
Penley was chairman of the board of directors of the Mountain West Conference, an NCAA Division I-A intercollegiate athletic conference, in 2007 when the board hired outside counsel to obtain more TV coverage from cable and satellite companies.
The CBS College Sports Network, formerly CSTV, and Comcast broadcast Mountain West Conference games via The Mtn., which has been carried exclusively on Comcast digital cable. The channel has not been available on satellite television until now.
"We wanted to increase the pressure on providers and communicate directly to those providers the importance of access to our fans," Penley said. "We know that companies respond to customers. If customers say, `I want to have access to this' - if you're a DIRECTV customer - that matters to the provider."
The Mountain West chose to broadcast its games on the Mtn., Versus and CSTV (College Sports Television), beginning in 2006. The conference board of directors had hoped the managers of CSTV would set agreements with various satellite providers and cable providers, but that didn't happen as quickly as it should have, Penley said.
"We've actually been pleased that fans have access to more sports than they did before via CSTV and Versus, but because we don't have The Mtn. - the Mountain West Sports Network - as widely available as we want, there have been too many games at this stage that fans are missing," Penley said. "The leadership of these universities - the board members in the Mountain West Conference - wants our fans to be able to see the games. We want them to have access not only to football and basketball, but volleyball, cross country and a whole set of other sports for each of our schools. It's important to CSU - it's important to all the schools."
"The arrangement that has now been finalized is exciting for fans everywhere because we will now have total coverage, including satellite coverage," said Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk. "Fans anywhere will have the chance to see our student-athletes in competition and allow us to tell our story about the entire university on a global scale."