Comcast, CSTV To Launch MountainWest Sports Network

CSTV Networks announced Wednesday that cable operator Comcast has a 50 percent stake in its sports network devoted to the Mountain West Conference that launches Sept. 1. Comcast will manage the network and handle ad sales.

Called "The mtn." (MountainWest Sports Network), the Comcast stake gives the network initial distribution in parts of three states with conference teams: Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. The network aims for additional distribution via deals with satellite operators.

"Not only does (Comcast) have a strong connection with these markets, they understand the value of quality programming and know what it takes to launch and maintain a successful sports network," said Brian Bedol, President-CEO of CSTV Networks.

Comcast operates four regional Comcast SportsNets, The Golf Channel, and quasi-sports outlet OLN.

The Mountain West Conference includes teams with mostly regional appeal such as Brigham Young, UNLV, and San Diego State. Network programming will cover 19 sports, headlined by over 100 football and basketball contests.

The Comcast deal also means that some Mountain West games will appear on Comcast's OLN network, to be re-branded as Versus in September. And Comcast gets programming rights for its VOD service.

In addition to the Mountain West, the Big Ten conference has announced plans to launch a network in partnership with Fox Cable next year.



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