Detroit Pistons to Extend Reach with Michigan Radio Network

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Listen up! The opportunity to hear more Detroit Pistons action is coming your way. Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) has announced a two-year contract with Michigan Radio Network (MRN), a Division of Saga Communications, that will make MRN the distributor of Pistons’ broadcasts for the next two seasons.

Using state-of-the-art digital sound, listeners throughout the state will hear all pre-season, regular season and playoff games during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. The agreement extends an association, which started two years ago.

“We’ve developed a solid working relationship over the past few years (with MRN), and are determined to substantially increase our Pistons Radio Network,” said Glen Kwiatkowski, director of broadcast traffic for the Pistons.

MRN currently has over 200 receivers, which are electronic devices that allow stations to pick up broadcasts. These receivers they may include stations such as news, talk, religion and sports affiliates (stations), giving PS&E a larger market to reach.

“I can realistically see us getting 30 affiliates next year (2003-04),” said Dennis Mellott, MRN’s president and general manager. The idea of such ample expansion is promising for PS&E.

Going into negotiations with MRN over the past year PS&E was looking to possibly increase their network affiliations to 20 stations.

“This is a lofty goal but possible,” said Kwiatkowski.

During the 2001-02 season the Pistons had eight affiliates covering their games. New affiliates will carry live Pistons broadcasts via satellite, allowing the opportunity for more Michigan residents to pick up the games. PS&E is looking forward to a future with great potential for growth with MRN over the next two years.

“With our partnership we feel this is another step enabling Pistons basketball to increase statewide appeal,” said Pete Skorich, senior vice president broadcasting for PS&E. “We understand there are Pistons fans throughout Michigan and this will enable us to reach every one of them.”

The fact that MRN is a Michigan-based broadcaster is a big advantage Kwiatkowski said. MRN is also the broadcast distributor for the Red Wings, Lions, Tigers, Michigan State University football and basketball, and Central Michigan University football.