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The mtn. doesn't deserve bad press

So, television critic Scott Pierce knocks the production quality of The mtn. (Mountain West Sports Network) without bothering to say what's behind his vague criticism or asking The mtn. about our efforts. (Oct. 5).

Our commitment to professional broadcast quality is reflected in the investments we have made in our coverage. Our producers, directors, camera operators and on-air talent have a wealth of experience with national networks including NBC, ESPN and Fox, and our standards are no lower than theirs. The equipment we use to produce our broadcasts, including the number and quality of the cameras behind our telecasts, is consistent with those used by other networks Mr. Pierce praises.

Our game coverage includes the latest innovations to enhance the viewing experience, including an electronic, yellow first-down line and a blue line of scrimmage, and electronic down and distance markers. Although our concept — the first network dedicated to a college conference — is pioneering, our reliable coverage also includes standards such as super slow motion instant replays, studio cut-ins to update viewers on action elsewhere in the conference and college sports, and a state-of-the art graphics package. Our football broadcasts also include sideline reports during every game.

Mr. Pierce concedes: "It's hard to complain too much about any Mountain West Conference game that makes it on TV," but we go beyond simply "making it" — we make it our best because we realize the incredible passion and loyalty that BYU and Utah fans bring to the game when they tune into The mtn.

We work hard to match or surpass any network in the world in programming quality, so there's not just plenty of TV to watch but also plenty of great TV.

Steve Hurlbut is the executive producer and director of programming for The mtn. (MountainWest Sports Network).