SBD/Issue 219/Sports Media

Local Univ. Of Oregon Broadcaster Passes On New Deal With IMG

Local Univ. Of Oregon Affiliate Ends Relationship
After IMG College Seeks High-Priced Deal
KEZI-ABC has ended its association with Univ. of Oregon (UO) athletics, saying that IMG College, which signed a 10-year, $67.1M multimedia marketing rights deal with UO in February, "sought too high a price and put too many restrictions on a new broadcast deal," according to Greg Bolt of the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD. KEZI had been UO's local and state broadcast partner for 10 years, "airing games not picked up by the national networks as well as pre- and post-game shows, coaches' shows and other university sports programming." Chambers Communications President Scott Chambers said that his company, the parent company of KEZI, "paid about $1[M] a year for rights to UO sports programming" before the school signed with IMG. Chambers added that a new contract sent on Friday from UO and IMG "would have barred his company from selling advertising time to businesses in seven to 10 'key categories,' such as banking." Chambers also said that the new deal "would have slashed benefits such as game tickets and other perks that previously went to KEZI advertisers," as well as eliminating coaches' shows and other sports programming. With its five-year agreement expiring last Thursday, KEZI's decision not to sign a new contract "leaves the university without a local broadcaster just a month before" the start of the '08 football season. Oregon Sports Network (OSN) President Tim Roberts said that "he's sure a deal will be made" to air UO's September 6 game against Utah State locally. He added that he is "near a pact with Comcast Sports Net to air Duck sports programs in Portland that might be expanded to Eugene and other cities, even those served by other cable providers" (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 8/1).

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