Univ. Of Arkansas Agrees To 10-Year, $137M Multimedia Rights Extension With IMG College
The Univ. of Arkansas has agreed to a 10-year, $137M "multimedia rights extension with IMG College that will be among the most lucrative in the country," according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The $13.7M annual payout, beginning with the '18-19 academic year, will be a nearly 90% "increase over the previous deal," with $6M "earmarked for the installation" of WiFi at the school's football, basketball and baseball venues. The extension does "not include naming rights" to Arkansas' facilities, but the "investment into upgrading the technology inside the three main stadiums and arenas on campus was a focus." Arkansas is "deep into talks with technology company AmpThink to handle installation and connectivity, although the deal has not been finalized" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/14 issue). In Little Rock, Max Brantley noted Arkansas is "one of only 22 self-supporting athletic departments and it recently increased" the amount of its revenue it "contributes to general campus programs" from $2M to $3.5M. The extension is a "vote of confidence at a somewhat difficult time," with questions about the "surge of money from cable TV-related contracts" and a "dip in public interest in collegiate (sports) from overexposure and rising concern about injuries in football" (ARKTIMES.com, 8/14).