Thunder Announces Broadcast Partner and Releases Full TV Schedule for ’08-09
OKLAHOMA CITY, Thursday, October 2, 2008 – KSBI-TV/DT Ch. 52/51, Oklahoma City’s locally-owned over-the-air broadcast television station with vast statewide reach will become Thunder TV, airing all 7 preseason and 17 regular season Thunder games, including the team’s Opening Night at the Ford Center. The multi-year agreement was announced today by Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett and Family Broadcasting Group’s President Brady Brus. Under the terms of the agreement, KSBI-TV/DT will become the Thunder’s official TV station and join Fox Sports Oklahoma as the team’s TV partners. Thunder TV completes the team’s telecast lineup, with all 89 games shown on Thunder TV or Fox Sports Oklahoma. KSBI-TV/DT is available across a significant portion of the State over the air, through cable as well as Dish Network and DirecTV. KSBI is available free over the air to all homes in the Oklahoma City area, in addition to distribution via cable, satellite, and a translator network inside and beyond the metropolitan area. KSBI will be rebranded as Thunder TV featuring exclusive game broadcasts, game replays, 30-minute pregame and postgame shows, a weekly team related show and other non-game, team-related programming. Additionally, upon completion of its new state-of-the-art facilities, Thunder TV will expand its newscasts and feature extensive team news coverage. “This is an exciting, innovative and comprehensive partnership which will serve to further connect Thunder fans with their team,” said Ken Adelson, Thunder Senior VP/Executive Producer. “The game coverage, coupled with the extensive programming KSBI can offer as an independent station, will allow a wide audience to be exposed to Thunder Basketball. We are thrilled we were able to find a partner like KSBI. It will be the place to go for Thunder information and excitement 24/7.” “ We are more than excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Thunder in such a unique way,” said Brady Brus, KSBI-TV/DT President and General Manager. “It’s a perfect fit with our proven commitment to local sports and family programming. The partnership will enable us to offer our viewers Thunder programming throughout the entire year.” Under the agreement, the team will produce all Thunder TV game programming. Brian Davis will serve as the play-by-play announcer, together with 14-year NBA veteran player Grant Long as analyst. Each game will be rebroadcast twice, in late night and next morning timeslots, to accommodate fans’ viewing schedules. Thunder TV will broadcast the team’s Opening Night game versus the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, October 29, beginning at 6:30 PM Central from the Ford Center. “It will be a historic night for Oklahoma and we are proud to partner with KSBI to offer the game exclusively in high definition,” Adelson said. In early 2007, Family Broadcasting Group, Inc. introduced Aubrey K. McClendon and Tom L Ward as new investors and shareholders in the broadcast company. “Because of our new partners, we have been able to accelerate our building project and other growth plans, which coincidentally enables us to dovetail with the launch of the new Thunder TV,” said Brus. The station’s preseason broadcasts will begin on Wednesday, October 8, with the team’s first preseason game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves from Billings, MT, beginning at 8 PM Central. The schedule also includes an October 13 game in Tulsa, versus the Houston Rockets, an October 14 game at the Ford Center versus the Los Angeles Clippers, and will conclude with a game versus the Los Angeles Lakers on October 24.