Boise State-Washington football to air on new FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. MT

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

Boise State’s season-opening football game at Washington will air at 8 p.m. MT Aug. 31 on the brand-new FOX Sports 1 network, the Pac-12 announced Wednesday.

FOX Sports 1 debuts Aug. 17 with an expected distribution to 90 million homes. For the most part, it is replacing the SPEED channel — 607 on DirecTV, 150 on Dish Network and 304 on Cable One (493 in HD). Cable One confirmed that FS1 would replace SPEED in its channel lineup.

Here is an FAQ on FOX Sports 1.

The only Pac-12 game that FOX selected for its flagship broadcast network in the first three weeks of the season is Ohio State at Cal. It placed five Pac-12 games on FS1.

The Pac-12 also puts games on ESPN and the Pac-12 Networks. ESPN2 got Northwestern-Cal on Aug. 31, but it’s unclear whether FOX or ESPN had the first pick that day.

This is the eighth Boise State game for which a time has been established, and all are at night. This is the third that will begin at 7 p.m. or later Mountain time — games at Washington (8), Fresno State (7) and San Diego State (8:30).

Here is Boise State’s full schedule:

Aug. 31: at Washington, 8 p.m., FOX Sports 1
Sept. 7: vs. Tennessee Martin, TBA, ESPN networks
Sept. 13 (Friday): vs. Air Force, 6 p.m., ESPN
Sept. 20 (Friday): at Fresno State, 7 p.m., ESPN
Sept. 28: vs. Southern Miss, TBA, ESPN networks
Oct. 5: BYE
Oct. 12: at Utah State, 5:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Oct. 19: vs. Nevada, 6 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Oct. 25 (Friday): at BYU, 6 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 2: at Colorado State, 6 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Nov. 9: BYE
Nov. 16: vs. Wyoming, TBA, ESPN networks
Nov. 23: at San Diego State, 8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Nov. 30: vs. New Mexico, TBA, ESPN networks
Dec. 7: Mountain West championship game (Mountain vs. West division champions at team with highest BCS ranking), TV TBA

•••

Boise State expects to fit its new high-definition video scoreboard project into its $1.5 million budget but must navigate some construction complications in order to install a board this year.

The school needs to decide “very soon” whether to buy a scoreboard this year or next year, senior associate athletic director Curt Apsey said.

“Our biggest challenge is trying to figure out how to do this without disrupting the completion of the football facility — and that’s a big challenge,” Apsey said.

The contractors on the football facility have been “fantastic,” Apsey said, but the timeline for completing that building already is tight. Coaches are expected to move in before fall camp begins Aug. 5. The scoreboard goes in the same end zone at the north end of Bronco Stadium.

“We certainly don’t want this scoreboard to get in the way of the completion of this football facility and getting our players and coaches in there and allowing them to go to work on time,” Apsey said. “That’s our No. 1 priority right now. … (The construction) is going well. It’s tight, but we knew it would be.”

The State Board of Education earlier this month gave Boise State permission to purchase and install a new video scoreboard in the north end zone of Bronco Stadium. The board approved an expense up to $2 million, but the school only has $1.5 million in financing in place and hopes to stay within that budget — $750,000 from athletic department reserves, $250,000 from the sponsorship contract with Learfield Sports and $500,000 in donation commitments.

Other notes from Apsey:

— The school has not selected a vendor for the scoreboard. The same consultant that helped the school purchase the ribbon scoreboards on the face of the grandstands is helping with this purchase.

— The dimensions — 58 feet wide by 36 feet tall — are for the screen. Advertising spots and speakers would make the actual footprint larger. The dimensions (2,088 square feet) are slightly different than what was included in the State Board documents.

— Boise State hopes to include a much-requested upgrade to the Bronco Stadium sound system in the scoreboard project.

— The board will go in one of two spots — in the same place as the existing board, which is anchored in the ground behind the bleachers, or on top of the football facility, which was designed with supports for a video board.

— Bronco Sports Properties, the Learfield entity that controls the Broncos’ sponsorship rights, will sell advertising on the board.

— Administrators have worked for a couple years to try to replace the outdated, existing video board, which is 24 by 18. The idea of installing a new one at the same time that the football complex gives the north end zone a new look provided additional motivation. “We all realize it’s time to make a change,” Apsey said, “and we’re going to do our best to make that happen.”

— A company’s donation — Apsey declined to provide specifics — helped get the project moving for this year.

— Learfield’s contribution to this project will exhaust the $1 million fund for infrastructure included in the 10-year contract for sponsorship rights, which began in summer 2010.

— The athletic department is looking into the possibility of replacing the outdated video scoreboard in Taco Bell Arena, too. “We’re kind of in the same boat in terms of certainly needing it,” Apsey said.

— The school hasn’t decided what to do with the existing Bronco Stadium video board.

— Apsey has heard the excitement of fans who are eager for a new board but cautions that they might have to wait one more year. This one will be nearly 5 times larger than the current board, which was installed in 2001. “We’re trying our best to get it done, but at no point have we ever said it’s going to be this year,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong — that is our goal. … This is a long-term decision. This isn’t about putting a board in because we’ve absolutely got to have it this year.”

•••

The Detroit Lions have a new quarterback to compete with Kellen Moore after claiming Thaddeus Lewis off waivers this week. Lewis started one game in three seasons with the Cleveland Browns — the season finale last year.

Moore, the former Boise State star, was the Lions’ No. 3 quarterback last year. The Lions waived undrafted free agent Alex Carder of Western Michigan to make room for Lewis. Starter Matthew Stafford and backup Shaun Hill remain on the team.

Here is the Detroit Free Press on the QB situation.


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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