IMG College, UCLA sign $150M/10-year extension

Regardless of the PAC-12 formulating its exclusive media rights company, one member of the conference, UCLA, declined to swing in a new direction and, instead, will merge another relationship with worldwide sports marketing company, IMG College.

The primary purpose of establishing a PAC-12-only media business – as opposed to stay afloat with a third party – is to ensure the programs get a warm return in whatever revenue is generated, which the university can keep. In two to three years, California, Oregon and Stanford’s time will run out with their respective media rights partners and delegate which avenue is best – the PAC-12’s company or allow IMG College to run the show.

With its contract nearing an end by approximately 2018, Oregon is believed to be leaning toward the conference-run company, while Cal remains flexible in conserving negotiations with both IMG College and NewCo. Finally, Stanford, like Oregon and California, is mutually eyeing the infant PAC-12 exclusive media rights company.

The new PAC-12 venture, whose working title as “NewCo,” might be a viable threat to compute a better representation of the conference and shuffle deals amongst other right holders. However, with a conference man-handled by IMG College’s package of six PAC-12 schools and Learfield’s three, NewCo will have to aggressively pounce into guaranteeing itself a place in media rights, which institutes a 25 to 30 percent increased share in profits than, say, IMG.

With Fox Sports obtaining the rights to Southern Cal for another seven years, IMG’s cash cow in the Los Angeles market was shriveling and, therefore, IMG had to bunker down on the Bruins by offering them three times more annual money than what IMG promised in its first deal with UCLA in 2005 ($5 million annually, ending in two years).

Last year, JMI Sports, of whom is responsible for providing this coverage via Sports Business Daily, was granted a 15-year contract with the University of Kentucky.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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