Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 | 2:04 a.m.
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Ryan Greene and Ray Brewer take a look at just what went wrong in No. 23 UNLV's Wednesday night 76-66 home loss to No. 15 New Mexico. The Rebels were handled on the boards, but can they bounce back in time for Saturday's tough road trip to face San Diego State.
A women’s contest between TCU and Utah went into four overtime sessions and delayed the start of coverage of the UNLV game.
The women’s game ended just before the start of the second half of the UNLV game, roughly an hour after tip-off.
Representatives of The Mtn., the league’s around-the-clock television network operated by CBS College Sports, could not be reached Wednesday night.
But UNLV officials said they think it was a network decision not to switch to the men’s game featuring two nationally ranked teams.
All teams in the Mountain West Conference are in the middle of a 10-year television deal with The Mtn., aired locally on Cox Cable channel 334. CBS College Sports is channel 333.
The deal, which started when the network launched in the fall of 2006, was orchestrated by the league’s athletic directors and other administrators. It nets each school about $1 million annually, said Jerry Koloskie, UNLV’s senior associate athletics director.
A number of fans — on message boards and call-in radio shows — have been outspoken critics of the deal, saying air time on the Mtn. isn’t as prestigious as playing on ESPN, where UNLV games were previously frequently broadcast.
Fans also were upset when the UNLV football team’s game against in-state rival UNR wasn’t shown last fall. When a Mountain West team visits an opponent of another conference — UNR is part of the Western Athletic Conference — the Mtn. and its telecast partners don't have rights to the game. The 2006 and 2008 games against UNR in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium were both televised.
“The conference made the decision to go with the Mtn., so we have to be committed to it,” Koloskie said.
He said the network helps brings needed exposure to all of the school’s sports, not just basketball and football. A good example would be Wednesday, when the women’s contest was shown in its entirety.
Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.