Brigham Young is leaving the Mountain West Conference. All of university’s teams will join the West Coast Conference in 2011-2012, except the football squad, which will remain independent.
The reward: a contract from ESPN that calls for “an annual minimum of three games on ESPN, ESPN on ABC or ESPN2, including telecasts on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.”
The value of the deal, which runs through 2018 and gives the network an option for an additional year, wasn’t disclosed. It probably isn’t near the reported $9 million NBC pays to televise Notre Dame’s home matches, but it will be a nice boost to the university’s coffers.
“BYU is nationally recognized as an outstanding university and for the history and tradition of its premier athletic programs,” Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming, said in a statement. “Once BYU decided to chart an independent course for football, we both recognized it is a good opportunity to build and grow our strong 30-year relationship. With this agreement, college football fans around the country will see the quality and pageantry of BYU as well as the passion and enthusiasm of its supporters.”
BYU isn’t ranked in the top 25 in the 2010 preseason poll.
(UPDATE: BYU and Notre Dame signed an agreement to play each other six times between now and 2020.)