In a move that was long rumored and should not be a surprise to anyone the Mountain Network announced yesterday that is ceasing operations on May 31st. The network was introduced in 2006 with much fanfare and praise with the promise of increased exposure and profits for the member institutions of the Mountain West. In the end the network was a losing proposition and the increased exposure and profits once touted never came. The network had a hard time getting its content to cable and satellite customers outside of the Mountain West footprint. This resulted in the venture not being profitable which was a factor in the decisions of BYU and Utah to leave the Mountain West starting last football season. This is very ironic because BYU and Utah were the main cheerleaders behind the creation of the network and when it was not as successful as they would have hoped they were the first ones out the door.
In the short term the loss of the Mtn is a blow to you the fan. We do not know what the future will hold but it is a near certainty that Wyoming games on television will decrease. You will no longer be able to see every Wyoming confernece game in football and men’s basketball on TV in the coming seasons. CBS Sports Network looks to be the new home of Mountain West sports and what ever form the conference takes in future seasons with the CUSA merger looming. You may able to see a Wyoming game or two on the network in the coming season but I fear we will never have access to Wyoming athletics on television as we did with the Mtn ever again. Perhaps the university will be able to expand its online presence and broadcast games through its online media hub “WYO Vision” in the future, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Longterm this move will more than likelly benefit the university through increased TV revenue as a new broadcast parternership is hammered out. More money in the hands of the athletic department is good news but this comes at the expense of the fans who will have less access to TV coverage of their Cowboys.
Follow Cowboy Tough on Twitter! @CowboyToughBlog