Padres, Red Sox complete deals with broadcasters

If one follows the business of baseball as closely as I do, it appears media deals are just as common nowadays as New York Yankee losses.

Shortly after the Dodgers completed a deal where the team became an equity stakeholder in their Los Angeles flagship station, AM 570 Sports KLAC, two more teams completed deals with radio stations who have the same owner.

In San Diego, it was revealed the Padres will have their games air on alternative rock station KBZT-FM 94.9, an Entercom-owned station with the phrase “It’s All About the Music.”

Starting next year, it will be all about the Friars and the music. The deal will replace XEPRS-AM, “The Mighty 1090,” as the primary station airing Padres baseball. The Mighty 1090 has aired the Padres since 2004.

Entercom’s CEO, David Field, announced the deal during a quarterly earnings call on Monday.

“I am pleased to report that we have entered into an agreement to become the flagship radio broadcaster for the San Diego Padres. Starting in 2017 and continuing through 2021, our FM 94.9 in San Diego will be the home for all the Padres games. FM 94.9 will retain its alternative rock format offering our listeners a unique combination of great music, sports, and local personalities.”

Some are already crying foul at this deal, with the basis being 1090’s signal can be heard throughout Southern California—something 94.9 cannot boast.

During the time period between now and ’04 (the inaugural season of Petco Park), the station briefly had a simulcast where 1090’s sports format could also be found on 105.7 (from 2006 to 2008). It rebranded itself as “XX Sports Radio” before 105.7 changed its format to classic hits as “105.7 The Walrus.”

Prior to the announcement with the Padres, the Boston Red Sox also made an announcement regarding an Entercom-owned station, one they are very familiar with.

The Red Sox and Entercom agreed to an extension up until 2023 that will keep WEEI-FM 93.7 as its flagship radio station.

WEEI has been the Red Sox’ long-time flagship station, dating back to the time it used an AM frequency on 850 AM in Boston, save for a couple years when their games aired on their sister News/Talk station 680 WRKO—a station Curt Schilling probably could use a show on. WEEI is also simulcasted on several stations throughout New England.

In 2009, CBS Radio debuted a new competitor to WEEI—98.5 The Sports Hub, which currently serves as the flagship station for the NFL’s New England Patriots, the NHL’s Boston Bruins, the NBA’s Boston Celtics, and MLS’s New England Revolution.

It was reported The Sports Hub would make a try for the Red Sox radio rights until CBS Radio announced it would probably sell or spin-off its entire radio division, including The Sports Hub.

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