Thunder, Sports Animal Renew Partnership
WWLS-FM to remain flagship station of Thunder Radio NetworkOklahoma City, Thursday July 18, 2013 - The Oklahoma City Thunder and Cumulus Media have signed a multi-year agreement that allows WWLS 98.1 FM (The Sports Animal) in Oklahoma City to continue as the flagship radio station of the Oklahoma City Thunder Radio Network, the Thunder and Cumulus announced today. As they have been since 2008, all Thunder preseason, regular-season and postseason games will be carried live on The Sports Animal.
All Thunder games will also be broadcast on The Sports Animal's sister station KWPN-ESPN Radio 640 AM, in addition to a dozen other stations across the state and region that make up the Thunder Radio Network. Veteran NBA broadcaster Matt Pinto will return for his sixth season as the radio play-by-play voice of the Thunder.
"We are proud and excited to continue our strong relationship with Cumulus and The Sports Animal," said Thunder Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations Dan Mahoney. "They are the leaders in sports radio in Oklahoma, with passion and excitement for Thunder Basketball."
"When Cumulus Media acquired these stations back in 2011, our then-pre-existing Thunder alliance was one of the first things the company identified as most exciting. Consequently, the extension of our Thunder relationship was enthusiastically supported, especially when considering the partnership’s significant impacts on both listenership and advertising revenues, not to mention the thrill provided to our employees from being associated with a brand recognized worldwide!” said Cumulus Media Market Manager Larry Bastida.
In addition to game broadcasts and pre- and postgame shows, The Sports Animal will continue to carry “Thunder Insider,” a weekly program devoted to the team. Beginning this season, Matt Pinto will host a weekly call-in Thunder talk show and the station will provide a live stream of Thunder games via its website thesportsanimal.com. That stream will be limited to a 75-mile radius around Oklahoma City.
Thunder coverage on The Sports Animal also includes daily reports from Thunder practices, player interviews and regular on-air appearances by Pinto and the team's FOX Sports Oklahoma TV broadcast team of Brian Davis and Grant Long.
Live Spanish-language broadcasts of Thunder home games will continue on Cumulus station WKY 930 AM (La Indomable) in Oklahoma City. Veteran broadcaster Eleno Ornelas will return to provide play-by-play. Ornelas also serves as the Spanish-language announcer for the Texas Rangers.ABOUT CUMULUS MEDIA
Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) is the largest pure-play radio broadcaster in the United States with approximately 525 stations in 110 markets, a fully-distributed programming network serving more than 5,500 affiliates nationwide and SweetJack, the local deals platform that will serve 200 U.S. markets. Cumulus strives to create the next generation radio broadcasting and digital enterprise based on great people and technological excellence. Cumulus provides high-quality local programming choices for listeners and advertisers, challenging career environments for employees and value opportunities for shareholders. For more information, visit cumulus.com.