Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

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Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:15 pm

Charleston Daily Mail's Mike Casazza tweeted today that affiliate discussions between West Virginia Radio Corp. and IMG College for the "Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG" (MSN branding will stay on WVU broadcasts per the IMG Contract, obtained today through FOIA by the Daily Mail) have broken down. No word if talks will resume.

With 14 WVRC O&O's among the 45 stations on the former Mountaineer Sports Network, it will be interesting to see where/how IMG College will fill gaps in WVU coverage if WVRC stations aren't part of the network. In Charleston, does Bristol land West Virginia IMG coverage for WQBE or Electric 102.7? Makes sense, since Bristol has an existing relationship with IMG College as a Marshall affiliate (WVTS 94.5/1240). Or does LM try to make a play to get the Mountaineers on Rock 105?

Elkins/Buckhannon and Keyser/Romney/Cumberland present big challenges for IMG College, with WVRC-stations dominating the landscape in those areas.

Casazza also reports that IMG is heavy in negotiations with WVU play-by-play man Tony Caridi to retain him for IMG-related radio and television work with the Mountaineers. Offer has been extended and the decision is Tony's, Casazza tweets based upon information from sources. If Caridi were to sign a deal with IMG College, the big unknown is how this deal would impact Caridi's continued professional relationship with WV Radio Corporation and its creative/video production firm, Pikewood Creative.
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:32 pm

Charleston Daily Mail business editor Jared Hunt lays out details of the IMG/WVU contract in a story here: http://www.dailymail.com/News/201307240173

IMG per-/post-game broadcast window for radio:
"IMG will be required to produce a 60-minute pre-game and 30-minute post-game show, though the contract said WVU would like the company to try to expand that to a two-hour pre-game and one-hour post-game show, if possible," writes Hunt
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:08 am

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.
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:33 pm

IMG Audio announces first MSN affiliates, expands pre- and post-game network coverage

As reported by the Charleston Daily Mail's Jared Hunt, WMTD, Hinton and WRLF-FM/WTCS-AM, Fairmont are the first stations to ink affiliate deals with IMG.

IMG Audio also announced Friday it will expand network pre- and post-game radio coverage from the 90 minutes that was produced in the past by West Virginia Radio/MSN to a combined five-and-a-half hours of coverage (3:30 pre-game show, 2:00 post-game).
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby Tom Taggart » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:45 pm

Understand WQWV is also on board, at least their present agreement for this year will be honored by IMG.
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Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:43 am

WVU Sports Communications removed all MSN-related web content from the WVUSports.com website over the weekend. As of Monday morning (7/29), the Football/Men's Basketball radio network affiliate list includes only the three stations that signed affiliate agreements last week (as reported by the Charleston Daily Mail).
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby Dr. Loomis » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:28 am

Hopefully their arrangement with Sirius will be maintained.
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Postby unchoopfan » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:18 am

Four affiliates join IMG network for WVU sports; brings total to nine stations

WELD-FM in Fisher, WVOW-AM/WVOW-FM in Logan, WKQR-FM in Mullens, and WETZ-AM/WYMJ-FM in New Martinsville have agreed to carry IMG-produced WVU broadcasts for the upcoming sports season, IMG officials announced Tuesday. Each of the stations has agreed to air WVU football and men's basketball games along with their respective coaches' shows and a daily "Mountaineer Minute" report.
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Postby unchoopfan » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:43 am

Seven additional affiliates sign on to MSN from IMG; 16 stations total, thus far

Latest stations to sign on include: WHAJ-FM, Bluefield; WJAW-AM/FM, St. Mary’s; WKMM-FM, Kingwood; WEPM-AM/WLTF-FM, Martinsburg; WQWV-FM Petersburg.

“Affiliate reaction to the new network continues to be very strong, and we are very excited to welcome these additional station groups to the Mountaineers broadcasts,” said Chris Ferris, Vice President, Broadcasting, IMG College.
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby EZ103.3FM » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:14 am

It'll be interesting to see what Clear Channel - Huntington does. WVHU 800 AM has been carrying wvu's football and basketball games, but only the 30 minute pregame show, no postgame show and no coaches shows. Will the new network take them under those conditions or will WVHU start carrying the coaches' shows and more game programming? The coaches shows would take an evening hour from the tape-delayed airing of the syndicated Dave Ramsey Show. The pregame and postgame shows would likely take time from Clear Channel's Weekend show and the best of Hannity or Limbaugh that WVHU airs on Saturday afternoons.

There's not really anywhere else to go to put WVU sports in the Huntington market....

WRVC 930AM & 94.1 FM (Supertalk) carries the Statewide Sportsline from Morgantown every evening (6-7) as part of WV Metronews. It's very wvu-focused show, mostly hosted by Caridi during the fall/winter. WRVC has a very Marshall-focused local show before it from 4-6 PM with Woody Woodrum and Paul Swann. WRVC pre-empts the Statewide Sportsline on Thursdays during the football and basketball season, running H-D (Herald-Dispatch) radio from 6-7 as a lead-in to the Marshall coaches' shows from 7-8. H-D Radio features Kindred owner Mike Kirtner, Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick and Chuck Landon, columnist for the Herald-Dispatch.

Marshall's games and coaches' shows are also productions of IMG-College.
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Caridi/IMG reach deal

Postby unchoopfan » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:18 am

The Beckley Register-Herald's Cam Huffman reports Tony Caridi will remain the play-by-play voice of Mountaineer sports moving forward. Caridi told WVU supporters at a gathering in Summersville Friday evening that “everything’s on course, and I would think that we will have an announcement early next week that everything’s good and I’ll be back.”

The rumored hangup in Caridi's negotiations has been discussion over his continued role with WV Radio Corp. and the Statewide Sportsline broadcast. IMG was rumored to be considering a competing nightly 6 p.m. sports talk show on its network of WVU affiliates, but Caridi indicated Friday that he's 'confident' he'll be continuing as host of his weeknight program on the MetroNews Radio Network. “Sportsline has a very strong legion of listeners. I think the program has been a lot of fun for me, and a lot of people across the state appreciate it. I think it’s grown through the years, and they kind of count on it," Caridi told the Register-Herald.
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WVU/IMG announce Caridi deal

Postby unchoopfan » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:49 am

IMG College and WVU officials formally announced a deal with veteran Mountaineer play-by-play voice Tony Caridi this morning.

Caridi will serve as radio play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball and will host these sports’ respective coaches’ shows for IMG. Caridi will also host a television show to be developed covering WVU sports produced by the Mountaineer Sports Network. Under terms of Caridi’s agreement, he will continue to appear on MetroNews Radio Network's “Northside Automotive Statewide Sportsline."

“I’m excited to continue my relationship with the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG and the wonderful and passionate fans that love the Mountaineers,” Tony Caridi said. “It’s an honor and privilege to be associated with a network that’s always been respected as one of the nation’s best, particularly as coverage of Mountaineer sports now expands.”

No announcement from IMG today on additional talent for the WVU broadcasts. One member of the prior football broadcast team rumored to be returning is analyst Jed Drenning. It is unknown if football color man Dwight Wallace will return for 2013.

Four additional affiliates have also signed on with IMG to carry Mountaineer games, bringing the total number of MSN affiliates to 20. The latest stations to sign affiliate agreements are: WDBS-FM/WKQV-FM, Sutton; WRON, Ronceverte; WVBD, Fayetteville.
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Jones departs as WVU women's hoops voice

Postby unchoopfan » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:20 am

More IMG Fallout: A new Mountaineer women's play-by-play voice will emerge with Travis Jones' departure, as he moves down I-79 to become the new play-by-play voice of Fairmont State athletics. Jones is expected to continue his duties as Operations Manager for WV Radio Corp's Clarksburg division (aka: AJG Corporation - Fairmont State's media partner). Former MetroNews anchor and current WVU Foundation administrator Bill Nevin will assume PA duties for Milan Puskar Stadium, where Jones had served as the venue's PA voice since 2003. Nevin has served as the PA voice for the WVU Men's Basketball games at the WVU Coliseum since 2003 and as the voice of The Pride of West Virginia, the Mountaineer Marching Band, since 2005, succeeding the late Frank 'Doc' Stevens in both roles.
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby Scott Reppert » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:58 pm

Travis Jones was the man. Carry on...
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby Lester » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:59 pm

Scott Reppert wrote:Travis Jones was the man. Carry on...

I almost posted the same thing when I read that. I am happy for Travis, and terrified that you're in my skull.
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby Scott Reppert » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:20 pm

A friend asked me a question a little bit ago that I did not have the answer for, so I ask it here:

Under the new IMG regime, how many of the stations...if any...will be STREAMING Mountaineer games?
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:49 pm

Scott Reppert wrote:A friend asked me a question a little bit ago that I did not have the answer for, so I ask it here:

Under the new IMG regime, how many of the stations...if any...will be STREAMING Mountaineer games?


No station is allowed to make available a free stream of IMG coverage. Live game coverage is available only on a pay subscription basis with CBS College Sports.
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13 additional stations sign on to MSN/IMG; 35 affiliates

Postby unchoopfan » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:25 pm

IMG College and WVU officials today (Aug. 12) announced that 13 additional station affiliates have signed on to the Mountaineer Sports Network, bringing the total number of network affiliates to 35 stations in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

The latest stations to sign on to MSN include: WCBC-AM/FM, Cumberland, MD; WCEF-FM, Ripley; WVHU-AM, Huntington; WVRC AM/FM, Spencer; WWVA-AM/WBBD-AM, Wheeling; and Allegheny Mountain Radio non-commercial stations WCHG-FM, Hot Springs, Va., WNMP-FM, Marlinton; WVLS-FM, Monterey and WVMR-AM/FM, Dunmore/Hillsboro. All the stations will air football and men’s basketball along with their respective coaches’ shows and a daily “Mountaineer Minute” report, with the exception of Allegheny Mountain Radio's non-commercial stations which will carry football only.

Of the 35 MSN affiliates announced thus far, 26 were MSN football affiliates in 2012. IMG College has yet to announce deals with affiliates in the following markets, where MSN broadcast were heard last season: Buckhannon, Charleston, Clarksburg, Danville, Elkins, Keyser, Parkersburg, Pittsburgh, Romney, Summersville, Weirton.

Changes for 2013: Based on the MSN affiliate list from the 2012 WVU Football media guide, here are the markets where IMG has added/changed MSN affiliates for the upcoming season:
Cumberland, Md.: (Old affiliate, WDYK-FM; New affiliates, WCBC-AM/FM)
Martinsburg: (New affiliate, WLTF-FM)
St. Mary's: (New affiliate, WJAW-FM)
Petersburg: (Old affiliate, WELD-FM; New affiliate, WQWV-FM)
Wheeling: (New affiliate, WBBD-AM)
Morgantown: (Old affiliates, WVAQ-FM/WAJR-AM; New affiliate: WZST-FM)
Dunmore: (New affiliate, WVMR-FM)
Sutton: (New affiliate, WKQV-FM)
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby Tom Taggart » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:33 pm

WJAW-FM is in McConnelsville, Ohio; WJAW (AM) is in St. Marys, and has been carrying WVU.
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Re: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG

Postby unchoopfan » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:24 am

Tom Taggart wrote:WJAW-FM is in McConnelsville, Ohio; WJAW (AM) is in St. Marys, and has been carrying WVU.
Duly noted - WJAW-FM has not been an MSN affiliate in past years.
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