Last October the Mountain West and Conference USA announced the “consolidation” of the 22 football programs from each league into an “association.”
As first noted last month by Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com and two weeks ago by Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com, the conferences are now entertaining the prospect of merging to form a newly-named conference spanning all sports.
SbB has learned from multiple sources that discussions between the leagues has advanced to the point where the matter has been handed over to attorneys to explore the legal ramifications of such an arrangement. Of particular interest is any legal entanglements that might be presented in the dissolution of existing television contracts involving each league.
While Conference USA and the Mountain West already have TV broadcast deals in place with Fox Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports and Comcast/NBC Universal, a broadcast contract for a newly-branded, 22-team league might provide a more significant windfall for the schools involved - if TV networks agree to tear up existing deals.
A source also indicated to SbB this week that Mountain West conference television outlet The Mtn., has recently informed some of its employees that the network may cease operation - at least as an exclusive Mountain West outlet - after the MWC baseball tournament in late May.