Thunder Names Radio Partner
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City's new NBA franchise and Citadel Broadcasting have signed an exclusive agreement to broadcast the team's home and away games on WWLS 640 AM and WWLS-FM 98.1 FM (The Sports Animal) in Oklahoma City. The announcement was made live on The Sports Animal by Citadel Broadcasting Corporation Oklahoma City Market Manager Larry Bastida and Clay Bennett, chairman of the Professional Basketball Club, LLC.
"We are thrilled that Citadel and its strong sports stations will be the radio home of the NBA in Oklahoma City. The Sports Animal is recognized as the leader in Oklahoma sports radio and Larry and his staff offered enthusiastic support and creative ideas. We feel it's a perfect fit and a tremendous partnership," Bennett said.
WWLS-AM and WWLS-FM will be the flagship stations of a statewide network the team will form over the course of the next few months, leading up to the start of the season. The Sports Animal will broadcast all pre-season and regular season games beginning in October, plus all team post-season contests. The NBA preseason and regular season schedules are slated for release in early August. Team game announcers and studio hosts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Besides game broadcasts, the multi-year agreement with Citadel includes exclusive pre and post-game coverage at least 90 minutes before and after the game hosted by team announcers and Sports Animal staff. Citadel has also agreed to air a year-round weekly program focused on team news, a series of team-related segments throughout the day, and use its entire family of Oklahoma City radio stations to promote the team and broadcasts. Those include its other sports station, The New JOX 930 (WKY-AM) along with Rock 100.5 FM The KATT, 98.9 KISS FM (KYIS-FM) and 96.9 BOB FM (KQOB-FM). Citadel also offers unique team promotional opportunities via new media and its station websites. The two parties will soon announce additional programming initiatives and advertising opportunities.
"We plotted an aggressive course in our pursuit to be a team partner," Bastida said. "We feel it's a unique and exciting opportunity for our listeners, our advertisers and our employees to partner with this franchise and the NBA. We're pumped!"
Bastida added watching the evolution of Oklahoma City over the past 15 years, from passing MAPS to, now, getting our own NBA Team, has been a thrill to be a part of. "So much credit goes to business and civic leaders, like the NBA-OKC ownership group, who continue to invest in the future of Oklahoma City."
WWLS-FM recently upgraded its signal by increasing its tower height by 1,300 feet and its wattage by 516 percent, offering a strong signal reaching well beyond the immediate Oklahoma City area. In 2007 WWLS was one of the five radio stations nominated for the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award, the industry's highest honor.
About Citadel Broadcasting
Citadel Broadcasting Corporation is the third largest radio group in the United States, with a national footprint reaching more than 50 markets. Citadel is comprised of 165 FM and 58 AM stations in the nation's leading markets, in addition to the ABC Radio Network business, which is one of the three largest radio networks in the United States.