UNLV athletics:

Mountain West partners with ROOT Sports for new regional TV deal

ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain will produce about 35 live league games this year. The channel is available locally on DirecTV but not Cox Communications


UNLV Photo Services

The Rebels have new football helmets for the 2012 season. Changes include a stripe down the middle, a different color scheme on the block “UNLV” lettering and a darker overall color.

UNLV fans may miss out on some televised games this season, depending on their cable provider.

The Mountain West on Wednesday announced that it has partnered with DirecTV Sports and its station, ROOT Sports, to be the regional TV home for the league in a new multi-year deal. ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain is currently unavailable locally on Cox Communications, meaning any UNLV games slated to appear on the network would not be available for those subscribers. Click here for a full list of carriers.

The deal calls for ROOT Sports to air approximately 10 football and 25 basketball games this season, all of them in high definition. While ROOT Sports did air some Mountain West games last season, no UNLV games aired on the network.

"This unique partnership will provide enhanced coverage and promotion for the entire MW membership," Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said in a statement. "ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain is an important component in an innovative, multi-platform exposure plan for the future of the league."

Combined with the CBS and ESPN deals, about 54 football league games are slated to appear over the three networks, which includes both the namesake stations and smaller networks like ESPNU and CBS Sports Network. There are also a handful of games that will go on other networks, like UNLV’s Aug. 29 season opener at Minnesota on the Big Ten Network.

In addition to what specific games will air on ROOT Sports, the league is expected this offseason to announce the implementation of the Mountain West Digital Network. Discussed for some time, the new platform will be another way for athletics departments to potentially create revenue through advertising.

ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain, which is the home of the Colorado Rockies and Utah Jazz, reaches approximately 2.5 million homes in nine states.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. Any word if ROOT paid for the rights for these games from the conference? Meaning do teams get any increase in their TV contract revenue? Or did they buy them from CBS like last year meaning no more revenue for the schools.

  2. Oh good.......another "TV deal" that allows us to NOT watch our team on "TV". Good call Mountain West, you've really learned from your past mistakes......

  3. When you can watch the Big Sky Conference on Root and not be able to find a Mountain West game - this type of deal was a no brainer. As long as they stay away from announcers coming from BYU and the Mountain Network - who added nothing to a broadcast.

    Problem is that finding where games are being aired week to week is going to really need to be communicated well by the Conference. Hard to keep track on where to find any of these games these days. Which only makes ESPN that much stronger and UNLV does not need to be on Tuesday nights to be on TV. This is not the MAC Conference. However based on attendance at UNLV games after they get into mid November - the actual number of paid UNLV fans in seats to watch a season finish for a Coach who has not won might be on par with a Ball State Home Game.

  4. "When you can watch the Big Sky Conference on Root and not be able to find a Mountain West game - this type of deal was a no brainer."

    Kirkland, your comments are respectable. However, the problem with the above statement is that at least 50% of us here in Vegas have Cox and aren't able to find Root....let alone a Mountain West game. So this deal may make all the sense in the world, except for the fact that the majority of Vegas Rebel fans can't watch the games.

  5. @FastCamron - I'm sure they'll work out a deal with Cox Cable. The Pittsburgh division of Root Sports is available on cable as well as Dish Network and not just DirecTV.