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Craig Thompson confident Mountain West TV deal will increase

Updated July 23, 2019 - 7:00 pm

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said Tuesday he was “very confident” the next TV/multimedia rights deals will be more lucrative than the $1.1 million distributed under the current contracts to member schools.

Thompson also said he thinks the next set of deals will carry shorter terms than many of the recently announced contracts, such as the 12-year deal ESPN has with the American Athletic Conference and the eight-year contract that network has with the Sun Belt Conference.

“The world is changing so much,” Thompson said at Mountain West football media days at Green Valley Ranch Resort. “Who knows how we’re going to receive our programming 12 years down the road, 10 years down the road, eight years down the road?”

The Mountain West had an exclusive negotiating window with CBS Sports that has expired and is in the middle of a 45-day window with ESPN. Thompson said he expects an announcement on a new contract this fall to replace the current deals that expire July 1, 2020.

Rebels picked fifth

Mountain West media picked UNLV to finish fifth in the West Division.

“All it is is preseason predictions,” Rebels senior linebacker Javin White said. “It doesn’t matter. It just matters the way we finish.”

Fresno State received 17 first-place votes and 122 points and was chosen as the preseason favorite in the West, and San Diego State was second with three first-place votes and 106 points.

Boise State, which received 15 first-place votes and 120 points, was picked to win the Mountain Division, and Utah State was second with six first-place votes and 108 points.

UNLV senior offensive lineman Justin Polu, who went to Silverado High School, was selected to the preseason all-conference team.

Seeing into the future

Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich likes to mix it up at media days.

He brought an Elvis impersonator two years ago and a Britney Spears one last year. This time, Rolovich hired a psychic.

“I think it’s a positive for our conference,” Rolovich said. “People talk about it. I just don’t want to be the court jester the whole time. If I have to be, I have to be. I don’t hate it that much.”

Always a Lobo

Rocky Long has been San Diego State’s coach since 2011, but he also coached New Mexico from 1998 to 2008 and quarterbacked the Lobos from 1969 to 1971.

The Aztecs play at Lobos rival New Mexico State on Sept. 14, and Long has his team staying 30 miles away in El Paso, Texas, rather than Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“I refuse to spend a dime in Las Cruces,” Long said.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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