The Times West Virginian

Sports

January 25, 2013

WVU nearing Tier 3 rights deal

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University appears to be on the brink of selling its Tier 3 rights to IMG College for the next 12 years, which covers the length of the Big 12’s national TV contract, and the school will get in return about $9 million a year.

That would put the value of the contract at about $110 million and mean that WVU, with the $20 million a season it gets from its Big 12 deal, it would push $30 million a year in media rights.

The deal was first reported in Sports Business Daily, and while the final details have not been worked out, it has been reported that IMG College is the only group carrying on negotiations with WVU.

While no one would confirm that this is almost a done deal, there were no denials being offered, either.

WVU’s Tier 3 rights include all broadcast and marketing rights that do not belong to the Big 12, which has the rights to all nationally and regionally televised football and men’s basketball games.

What is involved in all radio broadcast rights, currently owned by West Virginia Radio Corp., along with the rights to one non-conference football game and a few men’s home non-conference basketball games.

Also involved are all television of WVU’s “non-revenue” sports, along with coaches’ shows, sports-specific magazine shows, signage and commercial rights at sporting event sites and online content.

IMG would also have say over on-air talent but it is not expected that Tony Caridi’s spot as the voice of the Mountaineers is in jeopardy.

IMG College is the industry leader in multimedia rights, working with more than 80 schools including Pitt and Marshall. In addition, it has Texas, Kansas, Baylor and TCU in the Big 12.

Industry sources say that IMG has a history of working well with the schools it represents, allowing them to have a strong say in how their image will be projected.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

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