ASU terminates multimedia rights deal with IMG, claims damages

Thursday October 23rd, 2014

Arizona State has terminated its media rights deal with IMG, according to The Arizona Republic. The school is claiming more than $5 million in damages from IMG for "failure to meet contract obligations."

The Republic reports that documents show the rift between ASU and IMG goes back to October 2012.

Arizona State has claimed that IMG has failed to "provide full and effective coverage" throughout Arizona, Las Vegas and Southern California and the school says it is owed $4,295,393 for insufficient radio coverage, as well as more than $700,000 for not receiving required radio spots and another $500,000 for a trade card dispute. 

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In response, The Republic reports that IMG claims ASU is liable for $34 million in damages and will pursue legal action against the school unless a resolution is reached. From IMG's claim:

"Arizona State has decided to aggregate breaches of little or no importance into a major controversy and rationale to terminate the contract … ASU is now engaged in a charade of contract interpretation and supposed violations all for an illegal purpose, to terminate the contract so it can divert even more benefits to itself without regard to promises made to IMG."

On Wednesday, Arizona State disputed IMG's damage claim, and IMG issued a statement in response: 

"IMG strongly disagrees with the university’s actions, and we are taking action to defend our rights and recover our significant investment in the long-term contract. While we had extensive negotiations with the university prior to receiving this termination notice, we needed to make a fiscally responsible decision regarding their increasing financial demands." 

In 2009, ASU and IMG signed a 10-year agreement that was later extended through 2021. IMG held the rights to Sun Devils' football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball.

- Molly Geary

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