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Lyons gets OK to have final say on broadcast contract

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Board of Governors gave WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons the okay to finalize a change in the athletic department’s contract with media rights holder Learfield IMG College.

Approval came at a special meeting Friday that originated in Morgantown.

Lyons told the board that Learfield IMG came to WVU in the spring and asked to renegotiate the existing contract because of the pandemic. Lyons said Friday WVU was able to negotiate a guarantee that three of the four “revenue buckets” in the current deal would stay at the $20 million level.

“Most specifically is the Capital Expenditure Fund which was important to us as a result of the video boards we are adding to the Coliseum and at Mountaineer Field,” Lyons said.

Lyons said there’s also a new revenue sharing agreement with 72.5% with a future opportunity to make up additional revenue.

“We felt very comfortable with the renegotiation of the contract and feel we need to continue to move forward with our relationship and partnership with Learfield IMG,” Lyons said.

There were no questions by members of the Board of Governors. They approved Lyons’ request on a unanimous vote.

Various reports indicate the company approached several of the schools it has deals with. A USA Today report said Learfield IMG asked some schools to give it 60 additional days to make scheduled payments.

WVU’s deal with the company, which was extended last year, is scheduled to run through 2034-35 season.

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