ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Marking a move to broaden television exposure for its nine member schools, the Western Athletic Conference and its multimedia rights partner Learfield Sports announced today the debut of the WAC Sports Network (WSN) on Sept. 18, 2010, when Utah State hosts Fresno State at Romney Stadium.
The regional network will allow for WAC football and basketball games to be produced and distributed to media outlets in the respective school markets. Learfield Sports' locally based WAC Sports Properties team has oversight of the operation through Learfield Sports' extensive conference partnership.
The WSN will encompass affiliates in 15 different markets in the WAC members' reach. In addition to the Sept. 18 Utah State/Fresno State match up at 6 p.m. MST, games already scheduled for broadcast are Idaho at Western Michigan on Oct. 2 (noon MST) and Boise State at New Mexico State on Oct. 2 (6 p.m. MST). The WAC Sports Network will release the remaining schedule of games at a later date, pending ESPN national broadcast selections.
"The WAC Sports Network provides another outstanding opportunity not only to showcase our football programs but also to promote the Conference in a positive manner," said WAC Commissioner Karl Benson. "We are very appreciative of Learfield's effort to put this together for the 2010-11 season and know that it will benefit all concerned."
According to Learfield Sports' Vice President Eric Buchanan, WSN will be an excellent addition to the WAC member schools and is designed to complement existing local and regional television agreements.
"WSN will help broaden visibility for the league's member schools and create a simplistic way to distribute games to fans through the various media outlets," added Buchanan. "We've enjoyed teaming with Karl and his entire staff in seeing this idea become a reality. We feel certain the schools and their fan base will like the added television element WSN will bring."
"We truly value our relationship with the WAC, its member schools and especially Commissioner Karl Benson. He has been a terrific leader for the conference, and we think the WSN is one more example of that leadership," said Andy Rawlings, Learfield's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Learfield Sports' league relationship with the WAC is a natural fit as the company represents seven member schools - Boise State, Fresno State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State and Utah State. Overall, Learfield Sports manages multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations, including the Big Ten, Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) and Missouri Valley Conference, and is title partner for the acclaimed Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. WAC Sports Properties specifically focuses on the league's corporate partnership program and selling title sponsorships for championship events, as well as other conference events.