New rights agreement to bring more UGA sports to TV

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Get ready for more Georgia sports programming and live events to be shown on television under the school’s new deal for its media rights.

The Athletic Association’s eight-year, $92.8 million agreement with North Carolina-based ISP Sports calls for more men’s and women’s basketball games on TV and possibly expanding coaches’ TV shows, according to a contract draft obtained today by the Athens Banner-Herald under an Open Records request.

ISP will produce five regular season men’s and women’s basketball games, 10 baseball games, four gymnastics meets and 10 other Georgia sporting events such as volleyball, soccer, softball and tennis.

“Quite simply we’re contemplating more television programming than we’ve had out there in the past,” said Alan Thomas, Georgia’s associate athletic director for external affairs.

Georgia had three men’s and women’s games air on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast last season and nine baseball games. CSS previously had a direct deal with Georgia to produce games, but now ISP will own those rights as well as to Sunday football replay broadcasts, one pay-per-view football game per year and the G-Day broadcast if it’s not on ESPN.

“Our goal is to have more Georgia men’s and women’s basketball games on television,” Thomas said. “We’re going to accomplish that through our deal with ISP and whoever it’s subsequent distribution package is or through the conference package which is much greater than it’s been in the past.”

The contract calls for ISP to sublicense the rights for distribution to air on a regional cable and/or satellite sports network — like CSS — and to over the air broadcast stations within Georgia.

The shows also could air on WNEG-TV, the university owned station, subject to SEC TV contracts.

Mark Richt’s football coaches’ show could grow a half-hour to 60 minutes starting with the 2010 season and IS P will have the rights to a new 60 minute preview show previewing each week's upcoming game. Tennessee has broadcast an hour coach’s show and Auburn has a half hour preview show.

A weekly 30-minute Georgia athletics magazine show will be added that will highlight Olympic sports. It will run for 36 consecutive weeks and Thomas said it will show more stories about Georgia athletes and teams.

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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/19/09 - 03:47 pm
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Wonder if Knology will get

Wonder if Knology will get into this deal or will we be just out? Don't mind not seeing some of the non-football games, but I'd like to see some of the other specials.

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