The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

July 25, 2013

WVU’s IMG media rights deal includes $5M signing bonus

CHARLESTON — West Virginia University will make $4.1 million in royalties in the first year of its new 12-year deal with IMG College for multimedia coverage of certain athletic events.

North Carolina-based IMG will pay at least $86.5 million through 2025, including a guaranteed annual payout of $8.3 million by year 12. It will pay an additional $105 million over the next decade if the contract is renewed.

Details are spelled out in documents the Charleston Daily Mail obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

WVU also gets a $5 million signing bonus, $3 million of that to be paid by June 16, 2014, and the rest by June 2015.

WVU awarded the contract on its second try July 11. It was forced to rebid after a review by the state attorney general’s office found “significant errors and sloppiness” in how the first deal was crafted. But Attorney General Patrick Morrisey found “no evidence of intentional wrongdoing” by two board members, Athletic Director Oliver Luck and others.

The contract obligates IMG to pay a guaranteed rights fee of $4 million the first year and to raise that to $7.3 million by 2024-25.

WVU also gets bonuses for post-season play, including $25,000 if the football team earns a bowl game. If WVU wins a national title, IMG will pay a $100,000 bonus.

Basketball victories also pay off: WVU would get a $10,000 bonus for making it to the Sweet 16, $15,000 for making the NCAA’s Elite 8 and $25,000 for making it to a title game.

The contract also includes penalties.

IMG could negotiate lower royalties if WVU were to be sanctioned by the NCAA, change conference or suffer “material adverse publicity” that affects the ability to land sponsorships and advertising.

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