IMG checks its rear view mirror

Season One of the collaborative project between IMG College and WVU and its Mountaineer Sports Network is in the books. Seems it was a success in the presence of documented obstacles, too.

“Off the charts,” is what one executive said to describe the efforts to quickly organize, effectively operate and beat sales projections by up to 25 percent.

“Obviously the biggest challenge for us operationally was time,” Potter said. It was a big concern of ours, and it was certainly something that we voiced internally.

“But in the end, we came down with the attitude that we would rather be working with West Virginia University in an extremely challenging situation than not working with West Virginia University at all.”

15 Responses to “IMG checks its rear view mirror”

  1. Mack says:

    Can everyone on here cite the biggest difference that they have seen since WVU switched from WV Radio Corp to IMG? As an out-of-stater, there was virtually no difference.

  2. jtmountaineer says:

    Biggest difference for me is that the new radio broadcasts, which are free to in-staters, cost me $10 + tax per month. As for broadcasts, I miss the retro music of yore that reminded me of childhood rides in the car, listening to games. The new music is neither better nor worse, just devoid of memories. Obviously they’ve retained the same crews for broadcasts this year, and obviously Tony Caridi’s going nowhere, but I’ll be disappointed if Jay Jacobs isn’t on board after this year. There’s a lot to be said for continuity and rapport, both of which he provides in spades.

  3. jdwvu says:

    Womens basketball coverage took a big hit. Not nearly as many affiliates, it’s hard to get the games outside of Morgantown. Jeff Culhane is a competent play by play man but they paired him with Yaya Dunning who has never done color before and doesn’t add much insight even as somebody who played last year.

  4. Mack says:

    jtmountaineer, did you get the radio broadcasts for free before? My understanding is that they were never free for out-of-staters.

  5. netbros says:

    Another out-of-stater here. Used to be able to “watch” the coaches shows streaming on MetroNews no charge. Now it’s a pay feature. I don’t begrudge IMG trying to monetize everything. They’re paying a lot of money to the university.

  6. Karl says:

    As another out-of-stater (NJ), I can tell you I’m seeing fewer WVU games televised on my cable these days. That may not be an IMG thing though, as much as a Big 12 thing. So far this season we’ve had six hoops games available in my area. I was surprised that none of the Old Dominion, Duquesne or Marshall games were available on at least a secondary channel. It’s been a similar thing with football, although the tradeoff has been that when we are on TV, it’s often been on network TV in a prime slot, which almost never happened in our Big East days.

  7. Bobby Heenan says:

    @ jtmountaineer – count me on being a HUGE Jay Jacobs fan. I hope they retain him.

    With that said, I’m on a shoestring budget at the Heenan house (finishing residency, selling a house, student loans galore) so I’m missing out on a lot of radio broadcasts since I live out of state and am not paying for the streams. I do call that free phone number from time to time and “dial in” and listen, but not as frequently as I’d like.

  8. Bobby Heenan says:

    Karl – if you’re at all tech savvy, I’d highly recommend getting a Roku or apple TV or google chromecast (they’re about $40-100 and simply require high speed internet and a TV). I can stream pretty much every WVU game that’s not on TV through a Ustream private channel or ESPN3 using my Roku. All those games you mentioned I have streamed on a Roku on my TV with great results on quality.

  9. smeer says:

    with a full year under their belts, IMG may now be able to set their sites of building market outside the state. I suspect with the late turnaround that they out all their energy into building a new instate network/infrastructure.

    MASN is always looking for programming and I suspect Roots will as well.

    Next year may look nothing like this year, but everything is changing anyway with online streaming.

    IMG will go wherever the money leads them.

    Karl – I have a roku but never thought to use it for streaming WVU or knew there were channels. I’ve been watching via computer/hdmi to big screen. so a nice tip – thanks!

  10. smeer says:

    sorry – Bobby deserves the props

  11. jtmountaineer says:

    Mack, I believe back in 2008-09 (or around that time) you had to pay for broadcasts, and streaming on local radio websites was disabled. But around that time, I discovered the streaming worked on Morgantown and Charleston station websites and was able to listen without charge to football and basketball. I’m hopeful that such will magically happen again. I would use the free number were I not such a Luddite who refuses to upgrade to a smart phone.

  12. The 25314 says:

    It’s nice that IMG claims sales were off the charts, but they don’t say what the sales were or what the chart shows.

    The article never states what IMG’s goals were, or what its actual sales were or how they compare to WVU’s in-house efforts last year.

    The article doesn’t state how many affiliates IMG has, or how many people those affiliates reach, or how the number of affiliates and reach compare to the pre-IMG affiliated network.

    The article states that Patrick Morrisey ordered a rebid. He did not. In fact, he said that the contract was not required to be bid at all in the first place. WVU chose to rebid.

  13. The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 says:

    The “We don’t care if the team is any good or not” angle kind of reminds me of the Dan Snyder approach… As long as I am making money, who cares!

  14. realbbbb says:

    As mentioned above, the main difference for me (local Morgantowner) has been not being able to stream games for free on my phone. TuneIn streams WAJR 24/7 so you could listen to games anywhere you had Wi-Fi (even if you didn’t have cell service) whereas now you have to call the free #, meaning you need to have both cell service & not be on a low minute restricted plan.

    Also, I believe all of the Big 12 network MBB games are sublicensed to ESPN and thus, available on ESPN3.

    Unrelated side note: Anyone else find it annoying that those on DirecTV/Dish in Morgantown (the University city) can’t watch a lot of the MBB games on TV while people in the entire rest of the state can? The 2 institution broadcasts + all the Big 12 network games aren’t carried by any of the Pittsburgh stations on satellite and can only be watched online either via the aforementioned Ustream feeds or ESPN3. Is that right? I just switched to DirecTV 7 months ago so just confirming this is the case.

  15. The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 says:

    Real: just order the sports package! Tonight’s game was on MASN.