March 30, 2009

Ohio State agrees to big rights deal

Ohio State University officials Monday announced a rights partnership deal that is worth at least $110 million to the university over the next 10 years.

Ohio State Director of Athletics Eugene Smith said the agreement with IMG Worldwide and RadiOhio has a total value of $128 million, with $110 million guaranteed. The school said it is the largest such deal in collegiate sports.

Previous rights agreements were worth about $3 million a year to Ohio State, The Columbus Dispatch said.

This arrangement helps to ensure the long-term financial stability of Ohio State athletics by continuing to fund our 36-sport program, Smith said.

The agreement goes into effect July 1 and runs through 2019. IMG and RadiOhio will manage and market all rights associated with publishing, radio game play-by-play and coaches' shows. It includes corporate sponsorships, signage, on-site marketing opportunities and coaches' endorsements.

The deal doesn't include programs and events covered by contracts with the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA, Ohio State said.