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UPDATE: Judge Denies Motions In WVU Media Rights Lawsuit

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE: 08/26/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A judge has denied a motion by West Virginia Radio Corp. to reset West Virginia University's bidding process over a media rights contract for sporting events.

Judge Thomas Evans in Morgantown on Monday declined West Virginia Radio's bid for a preliminary injunction, citing the likelihood of significant financial harm to the university.

Evans also cited the public interest because WVU's football team plays its first game on Saturday. The university had argued it would be nearly impossible and very expensive to get a new media rights partner in time.

West Virginia Radio wants to stop WVU from finalizing a 12-year contract with North Carolina-based IMG College.

Earlier Monday, Evans rejected a request by the WVU board of governors, the WVU Foundation and other parties to dismiss the lawsuit.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/26/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A judge has denied several motions to dismiss West Virginia Radio Corp.'s lawsuit over how West Virginia University awarded a media rights contract for sporting events.

Judge Thomas Evans on Monday rejected requests by WVU Board of Governors, the WVU Foundation and other parties to dismiss the lawsuit in Monongalia County Circuit Court. The motions were based on arguments that West Virginia Radio had failed to make a case for fraud and a violation of public procurement laws. Evans ruled these are important public policy matters and need to be heard.

The network wants Evans to stop WVU from finalizing a 12-year contract with North Carolina-based IMG College.

The judge also is hearing arguments on West Virginia Radio's motion to block the deal and reset the clock to June.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/23/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - IMG College and its subcontractor say West Virginia Radio Corp. has no legal standing to try to stop them from finalizing a new contract for coverage of West Virginia University sports events.

The Dominion Post says North Carolina-based IMG and West Virginia Media Holdings responded to the radio network's lawsuit ahead of a hearing Monday in Monongalia County Circuit Court.

They say the radio network didn't bid during the second round, so it has no right to intervene now.

The network also wants the contract rebid for a third time, with IMG and West Virginia Media disbarred from the process.

WVU had to rebid the work after the attorney general found significant errors in how that deal was crafted. IMG won the second round last month.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/19/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A judge has scheduled the first hearing on West Virginia Radio Corp.'s lawsuit to stop West Virginia University from finalizing a 12-year contract for media rights to certain athletic events.

Judge Thomas Evans will hear motions Aug. 26 in Monongalia County Circuit Court. He took over the case after another judge was accused of a conflict of interest.

The network also wants the contract be rebid for a third time, with North Carolina-based IMG College and subcontractor West Virginia Media Holdings disbarred from the process.

WVU had to rebid the first contract after the attorney general found significant errors in how that deal was crafted. IMG won the second round last month.

WVU's broadcasts were handled for decades by university-operated Mountaineer Sports Network. It works closely with West Virginia Radio.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/16/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Public records show a competitor trying to block IMG College from finalizing its new contract for media rights to West Virginia University sports events promised less than $6 million in profits.

That's compared with more than $78 million that North Carolina-based IMG promised over 10 years.

The Charleston Daily Mail obtained the numbers through a Freedom of Information Act request.

West Virginia Radio Corp. projected WVU would reap $5.7 million over 10 years under its offer. It's now suing in Monongalia County Circuit Court as it tries to salvage broadcasting work it lost after 70 years.

In all, IMG's deal guarantees WVU at least $86.5 million over 12 years.

It was WVU's second attempt to award the contract. WVU rebid after an investigation found errors in the first attempt.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/08/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Radio Corp. wants a judge to stop West Virginia University from finalizing a media rights contract for sports events and reset the clock to June so it can reclaim the business it's lost.

The Dominion Post says the network asked Circuit Judge Thomas Evans for a preliminary injunction to keep WVU from sealing a deal with North Carolina-based IMG College.

It also wants the contract rebid, with IMG and West Virginia Media Holdings disbarred.

West Virginia Media is a subcontractor and competing network of news organizations.

WVU won't comment on pending litigation. Evans hasn't scheduled a hearing.

West Virginia Radio had tried to stop both companies from bidding because WVU's broadcasts were handled for decades by university-operated Mountaineer Sports Network.

It works closely with West Virginia Radio.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE: 08/07/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has assigned a new judge to handle West Virginia Radio Corp.'s lawsuit over a media rights contract for sports events at West Virginia University.

The radio network demanded the disqualification of Monongalia County Circuit Judge Phillip Gaujot last month. It argued Gaujot is biased because of a clash he had with an attorney for the network's parent company 26 years ago.

Media outlets report that the high court on Tuesday assigned Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Evans to temporarily oversee the case.

Chief Justice Brent Benjamin says the allegations are sufficient to warrant Gaujot's removal, and there cannot be even an appearance of impropriety.

West Virginia Radio tried to stop both North Carolina-based IMG College and West Virginia Media Holdings from bidding on the contract.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE: 08/05/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - IMG College says longtime Mountaineer sports announcer Tony Caridi will continue calling the plays at West Virginia University football and basketball games.

IMG announced the agreement Monday. The North Carolina-based company recently won a contract for multimedia rights to certain WVU sports events.

Caridi will also host the coaches' shows on the new sports network, along with a television show that IMG says is in development.

The deal also allows Caridi to continue to appear on the "Northside Automotive Statewide Sportsline," a popular weeknight radio show.

IMG says it will announce additional commentators and reporters soon.

WVU is guaranteed to make $4.1 million in royalties in the first year of its new 12-year deal with IMG.

The 12-year agreement says IMG will pay at least $86.5 million through 2025.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 07/11/2013

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia University has awarded an $80 million, 12-year contract for multimedia rights to certain athletic events to North Carolina-based IMG College.

That's the same company WVU had previously struck a deal with before it was forced to rebid the contract after a review by the state attorney general's office found "significant errors and sloppiness" in how that deal was crafted.

Two WVU Board of Governors members shouldn't have participated in reviewing the bids, but Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he found "no evidence of intentional wrongdoing."

WVU said Thursday the new partnership is effective this fall, for the 2013-14 school year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



04/16/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia University will rebid a contract for multimedia rights to certain athletic events following a review by the Attorney General's Office.

The university announced the decision Monday, shortly after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey released the review's findings.

Morrisey recommended that the contract be rebid. He says there were significant errors and sloppiness by WVU. But he says there was no intent of wrongdoing.

WVU President Jim Clements says in a news release that starting over is the right thing to do.

WVU signed a tentative licensing agreement with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based IMG College in January. The university later suspended talks after reports that two members of WVU's governing board had ties to a company angling to subcontract with IMG. The school said the board played no role in contract talks.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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