U of A/KATV Broadcasting Deal Illegal?
Arkansas Business.com is raising the concern that the broadcasting deal the University of Arkansas has with KATV/Channel 7 may not be in line with state law. Below is an excerpt from the article:
A Little Rock lawyer who spoke to Arkansas Business under the condition that his name was not disclosed said it would be hard for the university to justify to a judge failing to publicly request proposals for the contract whenever it was renewed through negotiations, but did say that does not void the contract. It does, however, leave open the possibility of a lawsuit.
The current contract between KATV and the UA, which was most recently extended on Sept. 30, 2005, to run through the 2010-11 football and basketball seasons, was originally put into place June 17, 1994, and has been updated with internal and non-public negotiations several times since.
According to state regulations regarding contract extensions, only one extension may be granted and may not exceed the length of the original agreement. The original agreement between the UA and KATV was for four years, meaning the contract should have at least been placed out for bid before the 2002-2003 seasons.
Among other features of the contract, it establishes the University of Arkansas as the owner the coach’s weekly TV show, allowing it to keep the advertising profits the show generate.