With in-state basketball scheduling becoming a current topic among BYU fans with Utah Valley's hiring of BYU assistant Mark Pope, Vanquish The Foe has learned through an open records request that next season's game between BYU and Weber State will be held in Salt Lake City at Energy Solutions Arena, home of the Utah Jazz.
The game in Salt Lake for the 2015-16 season comes as the final game of three in the current contract, signed into effect on Aug. 8, 2013, appearing with the 2013 (Provo) and 2014 (Ogden) contests.
BYU and Utah State have moved to the same home-home-neutral format with their series, also utilizing Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake. This agreement between BYU and Weber may indicate a similar future for their series as well.
The contract specifies BYU as the designated home team for the game in Salt Lake coming next season, and calls for BYU to pay Weber State a $45,000 guarantee for the neutral-site game. Why would BYU give up a standard home-and-home arrangement that likely never included guaranteed payouts to commit to a neutral-site payout?
The benefits to BYU are in the broadcast rights. The contract states "all revenue from radio, television, and Internet broadcasts shall be retained by the team owning the broadcast rights." Adding the neutral game into the mix gives BYU more television inventory, which can either be picked up by ESPN or added to the season's BYUtv lineup. It's not a 2-for-1 for the games, but it is a 2-for-1 for TV.
The contract also clues us in to how BYUtv would have been given the broadcast of the road game at Weber State in 2012, requiring the home team to allow the visiting team "a nonexclusive license at no cost to produce and distribute a live national broadcast" if the home team's game is not selected for national, regional, or local broadcast.
Since Weber State doesn't have a vehicle to put on such a broadcast, this element more simply read would say, "If you aren't able to sell the game in Ogden to be on TV, we get to put it on BYUtv." The 2012 game ended up as such, while the 2014 game in Ogden was purchased and broadcast by KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake.
BYU has a good recent history at Energy Solutions Arena and is currently on a nine-game winning streak:
2014: Hawaii - W 90-70
2013: Utah State - W 85-74
2012: Virginia Tech - W 97-71
2012: Montana - W 85-60
2011: Oregon - W 79-65
2010: Arizona - W 87-65
2010: Hawaii - W 78-57
2009: San Francisco - W 69-43
2008: Utah State - W 68-63
2007: #9 Michigan State - L 68-61