MU “underperforming” with IMG? Really?

January 28, 2013 by Doug Smock

A pair of stories, one Thursday on the MetroNews website and another in this morning’s Daily Mail, dealt with West Virginia University’s impending deal with IMG College over so-called Tier 3 multimedia rights.

The MetroNews report by Allan Taylor cites an anonymous “industry” source saying advertisers could be “squeezed” into “bundling” their deals with those at “underperforming” markets at Pitt and Marshall. And Marshall is cited as being the most performing, of course. The quote that tells all: “I promise you, IMG will hold some people hostage to get more money for Marshall.”

That’s all news to MU athletic director Mike Hamrick, who talked to me at some length about that school’s relationship with IMG deal and its success. News to me, too — Marshall was the THIRD client of IMG College (known as ISP then), and I believe that relationship goes back to the 1991 season. The contract was re-upped recently, leading to the new video boards and other improvements at the stadium and the Henderson Center.

If you’re reading this, you probably know the lay of the land: W.Va. Radio owns MetroNews. W.Va. Radio is reportedly losing those multimedia rights to IMG — which is leading to loss of revenue. If you listen to Charleston radio, you might have noticed the disappearance of Rick Johnson and Frank Giardina, two very respected radio personalities.

You may also remember Marshall’s network switched away from W.Va. Radio in the Charleston market.

I trust you can connect the dots. More on that later.

On other topics, such as 102-46, catch my Monday column.



2 Responses to “MU “underperforming” with IMG? Really?”

  1. Boomer says:

    The article in question was rife with inaccuracies and probably contained alleged facts that were simply made up by the author or the “anonymous source.” It was clearly written to take shots at Marshall and possibly IMG. There’s no way IMG would have just agreed to build Marshall over $3 million dollars worth of scoreboards and other stadium improvements if the product was vastly “underperforming.” IMG could have simply walked away and let Marshall’s media representation go to another company.

    The author also fundamentally misunderstands IMG’s relationship with Marshall in comparison to the deal it just signed with WVU. CUSA’s third tier TV rights were already bought by and sold to Comcast during the last TV rights negotiation. The Big 12 allows its schools to retain third tier rights and sell them on their own. Comparing IMG’s relationship with WVU to IMG’s relationship with Marshall is, at best, apples to oranges and, at worst, laughable. Again, IMG can’t market Marshall’s third tier rights because Comcast already owns them.

    MetroNews needs to cut back on amateur hour and try to put out some decent content.

  2. Thrill2310 says:

    When it comes to all things USPAM you will always find alleged facts and other inaccuracies.

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