The Mtn. – MountainWest Sports Network, will once again celebrate the holidays with its "Nine Schools, Nine Days" programming gambit.
Beginning on Christmas Eve with “UNLV Day” and extending through “San Diego State University Day” on Jan. 1, The Mtn. will recap action from fall sports, including football, volleyball, soccer and basketball, from each of the Mountain West’s nine-member schools. In addition, The Mtn. will air a new original show, plus two year-end episodes of Mountain Peak Performances to round out the schedule.
Mountain Peak Performances, profiling athletes, coaches, and teams competing in Mountain West Conference Olympic events, will air two year-end 15-minute specials premiering Dec. 24 with a spring and summer recap show at 7 p.m. (MT); the fall/winter recap will bow Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.
For a comprehensive program guide and show descriptions, please visit www.themtn.tv.
Moreover, The Mtn., which tackled a 78% increase in its average household viewership this college football season compared to its 2007 pigskin presentations, will debut Battle on the Bayou, a two-part series following the Utah Utes as they prepare for the upcoming Allstate Sugar Bowl appearance in New Orleans versus the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Several weeks in the making, Battle on the Bayou follows the Utes from the announcement that they would play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl through the days leading up to the game. Behind-the-scenes access, interviews, and in-depth perspectives into the preparations will be melded in a 30-minute show kicking off at 10 p.m. on Dec. 30. It will then encore a number of times, before the second part bows on Jan 6 at 9:30 p.m.
“Feedback remains positive each year, it was an easy decision to continue what has become an annual Mountain West tradition,” said The Mtm. vice president and general manager Kim Carver in a statement. “While the focus remains school-specific programming each day, we will still continue to offer something for every viewer as we head towards the New Year. I have always said that Mountain West Conference fans would enjoy the most specialized college conference sports experience coverage on television, and that focus has not changed.”
During the 2008 football season, The Mtn aggregated 870,000 cable and satellite households for 30 conference games over 13 weeks, a 78% jump from 489,000 in the 2007 campaign, according to network officials.
The Mtn. averaged 704,000 households in the Salt Lake City DMA for 2008 compared to 430,000 in 2007, a 64% gain, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Average household viewership in Albuquerque reached 64,000 in 2008, a 357% advance from the 14,000 the prior season. In the Las Vegas DMA, The Mtn. football games averaged 102,000 households, 127% more than the 45,000 households from the 2007 season.
“We can certainly attribute this gain to a number of factors, including increased cable and satellite distribution from the year before, and an outstanding season by Mountain West Conference institutions on the field this year,” said Carver. “Still, the fact remains that we are seeing a steady growth in numbers each year and we will work to sustain this growth, both through increased distribution and enhancements to our on-air product in the future.”