Suns, Sports 620 KTAR Extend Radio Agreement
The Phoenix Suns and Sports 620 KTAR have signed a new five-year contract that will continue KTAR’s position as the Suns flagship radio station through the 2011-12 season, the team and the station announced today.
The new agreement replaces the existing deal that is set to expire at the end of the current season, and adds four additional seasons of Suns basketball to the station’s programming. At the end of the new agreement, KTAR will have broadcast Suns basketball for 36 consecutive seasons beginning in 1976.
“A year into their format as an all-sports station, Sports 620 KTAR has established itself as the must-listen destination for listeners interested in sports in the Valley,” said Rick Welts, President and COO, Phoenix Suns. “We couldn’t imagine Suns radio broadcasts not being a part of KTAR in the future and we are thrilled to be continuing what has been a model relationship.”
“This is a great day for KTAR and for the sports fans in the Valley. While we are proud of the long history that the Suns and KTAR have enjoyed, we are even more excited about the future,” said Erik Hellum, Vice President and Market Manager, KTAR and Bonneville Radio Phoenix. “The Suns are the ‘best in class’ in the NBA, both on and off the court, and this strong partnership continues to deliver exciting play-by-play action to our listeners and consistent results for our clients.”
The agreement continues the historic deal structure between the two organizations, with the Suns continuing to produce all games and sell all advertising inventory during their pre-game, game, and post-game shows. KTAR will continue to produce and sell shows to air prior to the Suns pre-game and at the conclusion of the Suns post-game show, and will air other programs including weekly shows featuring Suns Head Coach and Executive VP of Basketball Operations, Mike D’Antoni and President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, Steve Kerr.
“The willingness of Erik Hellum, Ryan Hatch and KTAR’s marketing and promotion staff to partner with the Suns in all kinds of programs not only promote the station and our team but also benefit our community,” added Welts.
Suns broadcasts on Sports 620 KTAR feature legendary play-by-play broadcaster Al McCoy who was honored this summer both as recipient of the Curt Gowdy Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and by having the press facilities in US Airways Center dedicated as the Al McCoy Media Center, through a partnership between the Suns and KTAR. Former Sun Tim Kempton joins McCoy as color analyst on Suns broadcasts.
All Suns preseason, regular season and playoff games are part of the agreement. Because there will occasionally be a conflict between Suns and Diamondbacks games, the station and the two teams worked out an arrangement to utilize Sports 620 KTAR’s sister station, News/Talk 92.3 KTAR-FM, under certain circumstances to make sure the games of both teams will always be available live to listeners.
KTAR was Arizona’s first radio station and continues to have the state’s largest radio audience. The station was founded more than 80 years ago, and it has been an indelible part of the Arizona landscape ever since. KTAR is considered a trusted source for local, national, business and breaking news, along with traffic and weather. In January 2007, KTAR expanded to two channels as News 92.3 KTAR-FM and Sports 620 KTAR-AM. Sports 620 KTAR is all sports, all of the time; serving as the radio home of the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as the Phoenix Suns and Arizona State University. For more information, visit KTAR.COM.