Georgia Southern University is taking the broadcast of athletic events into its own hands.
Georgia Eagle Media, the company contracted to present the radio broadcasts and share advertising revenue for GSU football, basketball, baseball and other select events in March, 2006, will not have its contract renewed by the university.
Chris Blair, the former director of operations for Georgia Eagle Media, will join the GSU athletic department as director of broadcasting.
Blair will continue on as the voice of the football and men’s basketball teams, while Ryan Chambers and Terry Harvin are expected to continue their roles in the broadcasts as well.
Christian Flathman, Director of Marketing for Georgia Southern, said Wednesday that the contract with Georgia Eagle Media was not renewed due to money owed from the 2010-11 contract year.
The university will control the broadcasts in-house as a part of a large, university-wide media initiative.
“The decision to look at this was a part of a bigger plan relative to multimedia content and distribution,” said Flathman. “There were several parties involved in that decision, but ultimately Sam Baker, as the athletics director at Georgia Southern, made the decision on this particular contract.”
Georgia Southern received a late payment of $22,209.72 on Feb. 7, 2011. The payment was due in 2010 for the 2009-2010 contract year, said Flathman.
According to Flathman, Georgia Eagle Media, a company owned by State Senator Cecil Staton of Macon, still owes GSU roughly $50,000, of which quarterly payments were due from the 2010-11 contract year.
“Due to non-payment of its contract, Georgia Southern decided to pursue other options for radio broadcasts of select sports,” Flathman said. “After multiple requests for payment from Georgia Eagle Media, the university made the decision to cancel its existing contract with the company. Doing so ensures that the university will be able to move forward with alternative plans for the 2011-2012 year and ensure that fans will continue to be able to enjoy Eagle athletics on the radio.”
Radio will not be the only media outlet undertaken by GSU.
“Georgia Southern plans to establish an in-house radio network to manage its radio broadcast. The in-house network will be a part of the larger university initiative that focuses on multimedia not only for athletics, but for other things as well,” Flathman said. “The university is implementing a lot of different tools already around campus, from digital signage to Georgia Southern Television - an in-house cable television network that allows us to do some custom content – to a mobile app for iPhone and Droid.”
Georgia Southern is expected to release the details of the 2011-12 radio broadcast team and its other media plans in July.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.