With the recent conference shift that we have seen in college sports, specifically the emergence of the Pac-12, there was some concern about future exposure of smaller conferences such as the WCC. Most of that uneasiness can be put to rest today was the West Coast Conference has come to terms with ESPN on a new eight year deal which will run through the 2018-2019 school year.
At the end of the day, the West Coast Conference will have a minimum of 14 conference games televised (the press release says "48 appearances" and then notes one conference game = two appearances"). Those 14 games will account for 28 appearances so the remaining 20 will either be backfilled with other conference games or non-conference games at WCC arenas.
There will also be increased coverage of the men's conference tournament and increased exposure on the numerous ESPN platforms (ESPN3, Mobile, etc.) as well as some coverage for other sports such as women's basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball.
While many don't like the WCC timeslots, there is no doubt that the Thursday evening slot is extremely helpful in boosting exposure and Gonzaga's rise to prominence has been heavily influenced by the worldwide leader. All I hope is that they can figure out a way to schedule games so we don't miss the first half hour of a GU game because an Atlantic 10 game is in triple overtime. Baby steps though, I guess.
Click here for the full press release...