After reviewing the IMG/WVU Contract (Available here:http://www.dailymail.com/mediafiles/document/2013/07/24/WVU-IMG-Deal_I130724192609.pdf
), here's some random thoughts/observations about the new "MSN from IMG":Exclusivity and its impact on MetroNews
: In its contract with WVU, IMG is granted "exclusive broadcast, market, production and distribution rights for terrestrial radio, satellite radio or Internet radio for an audio-only weekly and/or daily show or programming related to WVU athletics." This includes the coaches "call-in" shows for football and men's basketball. The University will authorize no individual radio stations or other networks to broadcast similar programming." So, what's the impact on MetroNews SportsLine and its ability to feature interviews/appearances by WVU Coaches? Under the terms of the contract, WVU "shall prohibit its coaches from participating in any related or competitive radio programs; provided, however, IMG's exclusive rights hereunder shall not prohibit University coaches from participating in other broadcasters' interviews, so long as coaches agree to such interviews, each of which shall be less than 10 minutes, non-compensating, occasional and non-recurring." Which means, Mountaineer coaches wouldn't necessarily be prohibited from appearing on MetroNews programming, but likely not with the frequency they have in the past.IMG's exclusive use of WVU facilities:
The contract prohibits other entities not affiliated with the IMG radio network from broadcasting on or at a WVU athletic facility during game days, or allow any other entity to broadcast in any way from a university athletic facility without the prior approval of IMG. This means no more WVAQ-FM live remotes or MetroNews broadcasts originating from Milan Puskar Stadium or the WVU Coliseum. WV MetroNews programs like "The Sports Brunch" would have to originate from either the Morgantown studios or a local restaurant/bar on game days. This provision in the contract excludes visiting schools and broadcast productions for their primary radio networks. This clause also wouldn't impact national broadcasts (ESPN Radio College GameDay, Fox Sports Radio) that may originate at WVU athletic facilities with IMG approval.Network pre-/post-game coverage:
WVU stipulates in IMG's licensee obligations for programs that all football games will include a 60 minute pre-game and 30 minute post-game show on the radio network. WVU officials also outline their desire to see IMG increase the network programming window to 120 minutes pre-game and 60 minutes post-game. If indeed MetroNews moves forward with its traditional pre-/post-game coverage for 2013, it will be interesting to see how quickly WVU ramps up IMG's efforts to expand the network window.Caridi's future at WV Radio:
Looking at all the broadcast inventory outlined in the IMG contract, you have to wonder how Tony Caridi could remain at WV Radio and continue his duties with IMG. Beyond the play-by-play duties, Caridi (or whomever IMG hires) will play a central role in production of the coaches call-in shows and daily reports for the IMG's WVU radio and digital content, as well as additional television obligations that will include pre-/post-season specials, signing day special, pre-game shows (if not in conflict with live game play-by-play agreements), and a weekly magazine show (like the former Mountaineer Magazine) that will air when the Coaches Shows are not produced. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that IMG has made Caridi a "lucrative" offer. If he leaves, it would be interesting to see who else may follow Caridi out the door. Key MSN production personnel are also on the Pikewood Creative/WV Radio payroll and will likely become other IMG targets.