Officials representing Georgia Southern University and Georgia Eagle Media confirmed Wednesday the end to a more than year-long contract dispute.
In 2011, Georgia Southern ended an agreement with Macon-based Georgia Eagle Media to broadcast several of the school’s sporting events, claiming the company owed the university approximately $53,200.
The parties met in September through mediation, and agreed on a compromise that will allow Georgia Southern to recoup a portion of its claims, and Georgia Eagle Media to once again broadcast games locally on its radio stations.
“As a result of the mediation agreement, Georgia Southern broadcasts of football, basketball, and baseball games will return to Georgia Eagle Media's Statesboro stations for the 2013-2014 seasons,” said Phil Boyum, a marketing consultant for Georgia Eagle Media, in a release issued Wednesday. “Under terms of the settlement, football games will air on WPMX-FM 102.9 and WZBX-FM 106.5, which will serve as the Eagles official flagship station for football. Basketball and baseball games will air on WZBX-FM 106.5.”
Through the deal, Georgia Southern will be compensated $15,000, less than a third of the money the school contends it was owed for breach of contract – specifically, for payments the university says the company should have made.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Christian Flathman, the university’s director of marketing and communications, said: “We are happy that we came to an agreement, and we are looking forward to moving ahead.”
Georgia Eagle Media was originally selected through a competitive bidding process in 2006 as the broadcast rights holder for Georgia Southern athletics, with rights to football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball games. Following termination of the media contract in July 2011, Georgia Southern made the decision to establish an in-house radio network to manage its radio broadcasts.
The network will continue to operate, focusing on multimedia content and production for university news and events.
“We are grateful for Georgia Eagle's past relationship with Georgia Southern athletics and are looking forward to broadcasting football, basketball, and baseball games as the flagship station for the 2013-2014 athletic year,” said Cecil Staton, the president of Georgia Eagle Media and a Republican state senator representing Macon. “As the owner of seven radio stations in the Statesboro area, we are glad that our listeners will once again have access to Georgia Southern's great athletic traditions via local Statesboro radio. We are grateful that this contract dispute has been successfully settled and that the outcome has returned broadcasts to our stations.”
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.