Four-overtime women’s game delays coverage of UNLV’s loss to New Mexico

Entire first half of Wednesday’s game not seen across much of the nation

#15 New Mexico vs #23 UNLV

Fifteenth-ranked New Mexico pulled into sole possession of first place in the Mountain West Conference standings after beating Number 23 UNLV 76-66 Wednesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UNLV-New Mexico Basketball

UNLV guard Anthony Marshall looks at the scoreboard as the final seconds tick away during the second half of their Mountain West Conference game against New Mexico Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010, at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Lobos held off a late Rebel charge to win 76-66. Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

NEW MEXICO POSTGAME: Rebels get boarded up

Ryan Greene and Ray Brewer take a look at just what went wrong in No. 23 UNLV's Wednesday night 76-66 home loss to No. 15 New Mexico. The Rebels were handled on the boards, but can they bounce back in time for Saturday's tough road trip to face San Diego State.

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Viewers who tuned in to CBS College Sports on Wednesday night expecting to see UNLV's basketball game against visiting New Mexico were forced to wait until the second half to watch the game.

A women’s contest between TCU and Utah went into four overtime sessions and delayed the start of coverage of the UNLV game.

The women’s game ended just before the start of the second half of the UNLV game, roughly an hour after tip-off.

Representatives of The Mtn., the league’s around-the-clock television network operated by CBS College Sports, could not be reached Wednesday night.

But UNLV officials said they think it was a network decision not to switch to the men’s game featuring two nationally ranked teams.

All teams in the Mountain West Conference are in the middle of a 10-year television deal with The Mtn., aired locally on Cox Cable channel 334. CBS College Sports is channel 333.

The deal, which started when the network launched in the fall of 2006, was orchestrated by the league’s athletic directors and other administrators. It nets each school about $1 million annually, said Jerry Koloskie, UNLV’s senior associate athletics director.

A number of fans — on message boards and call-in radio shows — have been outspoken critics of the deal, saying air time on the Mtn. isn’t as prestigious as playing on ESPN, where UNLV games were previously frequently broadcast.

Fans also were upset when the UNLV football team’s game against in-state rival UNR wasn’t shown last fall. When a Mountain West team visits an opponent of another conference — UNR is part of the Western Athletic Conference — the Mtn. and its telecast partners don't have rights to the game. The 2006 and 2008 games against UNR in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium were both televised.

“The conference made the decision to go with the Mtn., so we have to be committed to it,” Koloskie said.

He said the network helps brings needed exposure to all of the school’s sports, not just basketball and football. A good example would be Wednesday, when the women’s contest was shown in its entirety.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].

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  1. There were maybe 100 people still in attendance as the overtimes kept a comin. So if the fans of the two teams collectively don't care, why should I? This reminds me of the 1968 Heidi incident.

    Here's the number to call 212-342-8700.

  2. Who CARES?????? Women's hoops isn't the greatest but that game was a helluva lot more thrilling than watching that thing that Lon Kruger calls an offense.

  3. thrilling? you call JV junior high basketball thrilling? that was the most ridiculous game last night. Women's basketball is a complete joke. There were thousands of people that wanted that UNM vs UNLV game. It threw the cosmos out of wack and UNLV got spanked the first half. Too much negative energy put out into the universe, messing with the Rebel mojo.

  4. The way that the network ignored an important game, to me, shows what a joke our TV deal really is.

  5. I was upset at first - until that Whipple girl made that turnaround three at the buzzer - that and the fact that the rebels were getting tossed around.

    But in all fairness - three teams going to the dance this year SHOULD ignite some renegotiations of tv contracts. Seriously - both football and basketball are showing up this year AND years past.

  6. Craig Thompson MWC Commissioner's phone number to give your opinion on why the MWC has the nation's worst television contract. 719-488-4047. I don't care if Michael Jordan was playing, we should be able to watch our home team play. Especially if it involves two ranked teams. How is it that we have three ranked football teams, three ranked basketball teams and our tv contract sucks so bad?

  7. ESPN needs to buy Vs and the MTN. That or CBS needs to show some games. The TV deal is a joke. Maybe even buy a game if there is a big one would be cool.

  8. Gang: I need to clarify a few things in this story. Last night's game was selected, aired and produced by CBS College Sports, not the Mtn. It was CBS's decision not to switch over. Also, officials from the Mtn. say the television deal is worth north of $1 million annually for each of the leagues nine schools, which they say is almost three times what ESPN offered. I also updated with information as to why the UNLV-UNR football game wasn't televised.

  9. I understand that athletic budgets are tight these days, and that $1 million+ from the Mtn. is much more than the few hundred thousand offered by ESPN. However, even considering the bottom line, long-term it would seem to benefit the teams in our conference (and the conference overall) by going with ESPN.

    We would have so much more national exposure, which would help even more with rankings (our teams would probably be ranked higher if more people/writers/coaches got to see us play), and it would help with recruiting, merchandising, etc. So, short term maybe each school gets a few hundred thousand more dollars per year, but long term ESPN would have been the better deal.

    Even though most of our games are now televised, living in Indiana, I know that we don't get the Mtn., nor CBS College Sports (luckily we get Versus, but I know other providers don't offer it either). Point being, everyone gets ESPN. Everyone knows it, follows it, and playing on it gets you exposure, which is what this conference needs to gain any respect nationally.

    Plus, the conference wasn't nearly as good as it is now back when these contracts were negotiated. I'd be willing to bet a TV contract with ESPN now (with how strong we have been in football the past few years, and now with basketball much on the rise) would get our schools more than however much they offered us before. Ten years is way too long to be locked into a horrible TV deal.

  10. "He said the network helps brings needed exposure to all of the school's sports ... A good example would be Wednesday, when the women's contest was shown in its entirety."

    I understand Jerry K is just trying to be a company man and stick up for the horrible decision to switch away from ESPN made by his boss and the other MWC AD's a few years ago, but saying this TV deal brings exposure to all of the schools sports because the women's game was on TV Weds is just ridiculous.

    Millions of DirectTV subscribers couldn't watch UNLV's biggest win of the year on Saturday against BYU because DirectTV dropped that channel due to Versus's unreasonable demands.

    Millions more couldn't watch the first half of UNLV's second biggest game of the year against UNM because no one was awake at CBSC to switch Vegas to the Rebel game. Either that or the network couldn't afford the live look in software and camera package ESPN has.

    The reality is that UNLV gets more exposure from one or two appearances on ESPN than it does from ALL of the games shown on CBSC, Versus, the Mtn combined for an entire season because NO ONE WATCHES these networks.

    And no one watches these networks because they are filled with programming no one wants to watch.

    Like 4OT MWC women's basketball match ups.

    And the stats K threw at you about CBSC offering 'three times' as much as ESPN were simply NOT TRUE. Go back a few years and read the stories on the TV deal in the Sun.

    ESPN offered something like $68MM over 7 years, the CBSC group offered $84MM over 7 years.

    When you do the math, 9 schools get an extra $16MM over 7 years for being on CBSC group instead of ESPN.

    Divide $16MM by 7 then divide by 9 and you see that each school, including UNLV, gets an extra $250,000 a year to play its games on CBSC instead of ESPN.

    For the price of a foreclosure house in Las Vegas, we could have been watching UNM vs. UNLV on ESPN last night instead of Reno vs. Idaho.

    The MWC gambled that by using CBSC as leverage against ESPN, the MWC could get a better deal with ESPN. The gamble failed when ESPN walked away from the deal and the MWC got stuck playing most of its games on networks no one watches.

  11. did we find a number or email address that we can send our kindest thoughts too?

  12. I appreciate that it was CBS' decision but then I have another question. Why wasn't this game - one between two ranked teams fighting for first place - televised on The Mountain, the channel run by the very same conference. Potentially one of the biggest conference games of the year and they don't televise it? Ridiculous.

  13. Ray Brewer said "It was CBS's decision not to switch over." According to CBS C this is absolutely not the case. When I called 212-342-8700 on Thursday morning the gentleman on the other end of the line stated that it was "out of their hands" and that they were bound by the contract to run the games exactly how they did. If I wanted to complain further, I was told to contact all of the universities directly because this was the agreement. So Ray, if you have different info, I would love to hear it and complain to the appropriate parties so that hopefully this doesn't happen going forward. Thanks

  14. Maybe we can get Whipple to transfer to the lady Rebels. We could use her.