The Rutgers athletic department yesterday announced an 11-year, $65M "multimedia rights and sponsorship deal" with IMG College worth "nearly" $6M annually," according to Brendan Prunty of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The deal will "put Rutgers firmly in the realm of its future rivals, ideally boosting brand recognition and attracting new national and corporate support." With the athletic department "still operating at a deficit," the deal will "likely help Rutgers athletics push toward its goal of being financially self-sufficient." It also has an "option that Rutgers can exercise to extend it by as many as 14 years (or through the 2026-27 year)," with a guarantee of more than $87M. Both the current deal and the option to extend "include revenue-sharing opportunities, which could elevate the total value of the deal." Between that "influx of money and what Rutgers is set to begin receiving after its six-year wait period upon joining the Big Ten from the Big Ten Network revenue stream, the school’s athletic department believes its subsidies will disappear." The deal "comes nearly four months after" former AD Tim Pernetti "severed Rutgers’ existing contract with Nelligan Sports Marketing" at a cost of $7M. The 13-year relationship with Nelligan "had four years remaining" on a 13-year, $40M deal. The Nelligan contract "was set to earn Rutgers slightly more than" $3M per year, but sources said that the school was "only netting around" $1.2M. Part of the reason for the "low take-home for Rutgers with Nelligan was that the money in the contract was not guaranteed." Under the IMG College deal, "the money is guaranteed" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/25).
APPLES TO APPLES: Prunty examines how IMG College's deal with Rutgers "stacks up in relation to other schools the firm represents," including overall deal value and value per year (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/25).
VALUE OF SELECT ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT DEALS WITH IMG COLLEGE
Keith Olbermann yesterday "revealed new details about his upcoming ESPN2 late night talk show," noting that it "will include a 'Worst Person in the Sports World' segment," according to Andrea Morabito of BROADCASTING & CABLE. The "Worst Person in the World" segment was a "regular feature" on Olbermann's MSNBC show. Olbermann said that he was "reviving the segment again because 'people seemed to like that one.'" He added that the show would "feature commentary, highlights, interviews, and analysis while differentiating itself" from "SportsCenter." Olbermann noted that the "influence of the Internet will make this show much different" than when he hosted "SportsCenter" in the '90s. But "now, as then, he will base the show on the same concept that [its] audience is coming in knowing 50-100% of the sports news and his job is to tell them why it happened" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 7/24). ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's Sandra Gonzalez wrote if Olbermann "wants to talk about politics ... he will." But Olbermann said that it "has to make sense first." Olbermann: "I’m not intending to talk about politics, certainly not in the partisan sense and not in the sense I have in the last ten years of work that I’ve done." But he added, "It’s a sports show and there will be occasions in which ... we will have to talk about (it)." Olbermann "shot down reports that his contract included any limits on content and confirmed that there will be no 'pop culture segments'" (EW.com, 7/24). Olbermann said, "I've done and enjoyed and own the work that I've done, but that's not what this is." He added that his "most recent stints at MSNBC and Current TV 'took a lot out of me, and were not that much fun'" (LATIMES.com, 7/24). VARIETY's Jon Weisman noted Olbermann will "be away from ESPN for three weeks in October to host the postseason baseball studio for TBS." ESPN VP/Original Programming & Production Jamie Horowitz said that how that departure will be handled is "still being worked out" (VARIETY.com, 7/24).
NBC Sports Group yesterday celebrated the official opening of its new HQs in Stamford, Conn., with "speeches from state and local officials," according to Brian Dowling of the HARTFORD COURANT. NBC Sports over the past six months "has consolidated four former locations in three Northeast states here." The new facility has "a giant newsroom, six on-air studios with control rooms, 50 graphics suites, more than 50 editing rooms, and 250 producers to man all that space." The company said that more than "500 employees work in the 300,000 square-foot facility now." NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus said that the new facility will "likely house more employees as the network lands the rights to broadcast new sports." What "sealed the deal" was a low-interest $20M loan from the state of Connecticut, "which is forgivable if NBC Sports meets its job creation targets in five years and invests at least" $100M (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/25). In Stamford, Rob Varnon notes NBC was "an early company picked to participate" in Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy's First 5 Program, which provided the company with the $20M loan "in exchange for creating at least 450 jobs and investing money in the facility." Lazarus said, "We would not be here today if not for Gov. Malloy and his First 5 program" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 7/25).
ESPN yesterday announced that its next slate of "30 for 30" documentary film series will begin on Oct. 1. Film topics include the story of Hawaiian surfer Eddie Aikau; John Spano's Islanders scandal; Jimmy Connors' '91 U.S. Open run; and a look at the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding rivalry that resulted in the now-infamous attack (ESPN).ESPN Films VP & Exec Producer Connor Schell said of the series, "We don't really chase stories (anymore)." He added, "It's a platform where we're going to be fair to the subject matter." Schell acknowledged that he and his team "have yet to convince Kerrigan to sit for the planned November doc, aptly titled Tonya and Nancy." The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Lacey Rose reported ESPN's team has "interviewed several close to Kerrigan and are still hopeful that she'll agree to participate in the way Harding has" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/24). The AP's Beth Harris noted the series includes a film "about the Spirits of St. Louis basketball team" that played in the ABA and a film "about the rivalry between boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran." Actor Kevin Connolly "directs and narrates" the film about Spanos (AP, 7/24).
N.Y. Times NFL reporter Judy Battista is leaving her position at the paper to join NFL.com and the NFL Network, and the move elicited a stream of tweets from her colleagues. N.Y. Times' Christopher Clarey added, "Best to my talented colleague @judybattista as she leaves the NYT for NFL media. Wrote #tennis like an all-pro, too, at Roland Garros." Yahoo Sports' Doug Farrar wrote, "As a writer and reporter, @judybattista sets a standard we'd all do well to follow. Great get, NFL Media." NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal added, "So excited that @judybattista is joining NFL Media. What a great hire." N.Y. Times' Connor Ennis added, "Sad to see @judybattista leaving NYT. A terrific colleague & talented reporter. She'll do great work for NFL.com."
BIG TIME: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Jon Lafayette noted the Big Ten Network announced that "virtually all of its multichannel distributors have agreed to support live streaming on its BTN2Go mobile app." The app was "introduced two years ago, but BTN didn't have a deal with key distributors such as Comcast to authenticate subscribers." The network said that "Comcast is now on its roster" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 7/24).
PACIFIC LIFE: The Pac-12 Network yesterday "announced its football broadcasting teams" for the upcoming season. The "first unit remains" Ted Robinson and Glenn Parker. Kevin Calabro will "team with Yogi Roth." Roxy Bernstein will "be joined" by Anthony Herron, and JB Long will "call games alongside" Jeremy Bloom (AZSTARNET.com, 7/24).
SPEAKING IN SEATTLE: The Seahawks yesterday announced Brock Huard will join play-by-play announcer Curt Menefee for the team's preseason telecasts on KCPQ-Fox (Seahawks).