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Mountain West signs 12-year multimedia rights deal with JMI Sports

The Mountain West Conference has signed a 12-year deal with collegiate marketing firm JMI Sports, which will take over its multimedia rights.

In the deal, which runs through 2032, JMI Sports will manage all of Mountain West’s corporate partnerships, including college football and basketball title sponsorships. Its current deal with Learfield IMG College expires on June 30.

According to a press release, JMI Sports will “enhance focus on the Mountain West brand and the growth of the property.”

The partnership comes just weeks after Mountain West announced a six-year media-rights deal with CBS and Fox Sports for college football and men’s basketball games. The deals, which run from 2020-21 through 2025-26, are worth $45m annually or $270m in total.

The TV contracts are clouded in controversy, however, after member Boise State filed a legal complaint against the conference, alleging bad faith and breach of contract.

At the announcement, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said the contract would be the final time it honored a prior agreement with Boise State which paid the school $1.8m more than other colleges in the athletic conference.

In a lawsuit, filed in state district court in Idaho, Boise State said the conference approved the new TV deal without its consent and is reneging on two promises made when the college agreed to stay in 2012 and not move to the Big East, and later in an amended re-entry agreement. These are: that Boise State’s home football games would be negotiated separately and Boise State would receive a bonus on top of their equal share of TV revenue.

Boise State is arguing that the clauses are perpetual. The two sides appear to be attempting a resolution. But if the matter cannot be resolved, Boise State could choose to leave the conference altogether.