Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 42
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Documents detail structure at IMG Media

IMG Media has been one of the strongest business units at the company for years, generating $448 million in revenue last year, or nearly 30 percent of IMG’s overall revenue. The financial documents that WME shared with banks show how IMG Media functions, detailing how the business is structured and how it generates money.

IMG Media has two divisions that contribute to its bottom line:
n Rights, acquisitions and distributions, which generated $273 million in revenue in 2013.
n Sports production, which generated $160 million in revenue last year.

The rights, acquisitions and distributions side brokers rights deals as a sales agent or as the rights holder (if IMG already has acquired the rights). It earns 45 percent of its revenue from commissions, typically taking a 10 percent commission on the sale of a property’s rights. Another 40 percent of its revenue comes from guaranteed commitments that IMG makes to a property on what its rights should fetch.

IMG and the property then share in the profit beyond that. For example, it could offer a $60 million guarantee to the NFL for rights in a market like India and get a 25/75 split of any profits beyond that.

The remainder of revenue (10 percent) comes from fixed-fee arrangements, where a property pays IMG a fee to sell its rights, and owned rights (5 percent) that IMG acquired from a rights holder to sell.

Most of the remaining $448 million in revenue from IMG Media comes from its sports production group, which does radio, TV and digital programming for clients ranging from the Indian Premier League to World Snooker. It produces more than 52,000 hours of programming a year, and the business is so established that IMG last year spent $53 million on a new production facility in London.

The sports production unit receives 75 percent of its revenue from a “cost-plus model” that sees a property pay the production costs plus a fee of up to 15 percent to IMG. Another 20 percent of the unit’s revenue comes from a fixed-fee model that pays a one-time fee to IMG for production.

The remaining 5 percent of revenue comes from IMG-owned events that it produces and sells.