SBD/June 27, 2012/Media

Bills Suing Cumulus Media Over Team's Radio Rights

The Bills have “sued Cumulus Media, seeking to collect at least $1 million in fees the team says the broadcasting company owes for airing football games on the radio during the 2011 season,” according to Patrick Lakamp of the BUFFALO NEWS. The complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, allegesthat while Cumulus Media “paid a rights fee to the Bills for the 2011 season, the broadcasting company has yet to pay an ‘incentive rights fee.'" The lawsuit claims that the incentive rights fee “equals half the broadcaster's gross revenues from the sale of related programming or advertising in connection with any Bills game, after accounting for certain costs.” Cumulus Media's FM stations, WGRF and WEDG, “carried Bills games from 1998 through 2011.” The Bills in the lawsuit claim that the team's dispute with the broadcaster “stems from 2011, the final year of a three-year deal for exclusive radio broadcast rights.” The lawsuit states that Cumulus Media “acquired Citadel Broadcasting in 2011, and that purchase included the 2011 radio broadcast rights to Bills games.” The Bills claim that Citadel Broadcasting “paid what it owed in incentive rights fees for the 2009 and 2010 football seasons.” The team earlier this year “announced a multiyear radio deal with Entercom Communications to air Bills games" on WGR-AM (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/27).
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