March 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm #173076
Will Entercomm be able to keep all 5 sport team radio rights after the merger regardless of which stations it may have to divest? Know Red Sox recently renewed . How long is the other teams contracts with 98.5 ” Sports Hub”?March 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm #173079
My guess is that Entercom’s two Boston-area sports stations, WEEI-93.7 and WBZ-98.5 will be combined onto a single station. I would venture to guess that it will be on 98.5 under the WEEI call letters (since the 98.5 stick is in the center of the market; the 93.7 stick is some 16 miles north of Boston).
And yes, I expect it to have all of the city’s pro sports teams.
There will be conflicts, but the combined Entercom/CBS Radio should have at least one place to put games bumped off the primary all-sports station (if the merged company keeps WZLX-100.7, that would continue to be the home of “bumped” games).
The “1,000-Pound Gorilla” will be the Boston Red Sox. In the Spring, when a Bruins or Celtics playoff game conflicts with a Red Sox early-season game, “news value” of the respective games would suggest the B’s or C’s stay put with the Sox getting bumped (of course, in the early Fall, it would be reversed with pre-season Bruins and Celtics games getting bumped elsewhere due to late-season or post-season Sox broadcasts).
But the Sox will likely insist on having first priority in conflicts with Bruins or Celtics playoff games.
But as I noted above, I think such an issue will be settled one way or another and sometime later this year, we’ll have a “new” WEEI at 98.5 on the dial with all of Boston’s pro teams “under one roof”. And a combined WEEI/”Sports Hub” could have significantly higher ratings since it will likely be the only local all-sports outlet in town.
As for how long the current “Sports Hub”‘s contracts are with the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and Revolution, I don’t know. But I thought they were long-term deals.March 8, 2017 at 11:47 am #173109
Here is a scenerio.
Letʼs say they combine 93.7 and 98.5 into one sports station, “98.5, WEEI–The Sporta Hub”, move WBMX down to 93.7—thereby shifting its audience focus to the North Shore and Merrimack Valley—and move the WBZ-FM CALLs to 104.1, either as a full or partial AM simulcast (more likely) or shift the AM operations to FM and either move WRKO up the dial to WBZʼs better signal and make 6-80 brokered or just make 10-30 brokered (less likely, and certainly not my choice! P=)—?
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Limit 0 Per Customer. ****March 8, 2017 at 11:54 am #173110
Sunday afternoons in September should prove to be interesting. Patriots football and late season Red Sox baseball. Patriots and Red Sox have never been under the same roof at the same time.March 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm #173379
iHeart probably can’t afford them with the financial situation they’re in.March 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm #173380
I think it would be better if Entercom would divest The Sports Hub along with it’s AM sister station to iHeartMedia, if the Department of Justice requires such a spin off.
Why would Entercon want to hand over an established and profitable sports format to a competitor…who will immediately go head-to-head with their sports station?
Why would Entercom keep the crappier signal of 93/.7 and give the better Boston-centric signal to someone else?March 23, 2017 at 12:57 am #173388March 23, 2017 at 9:55 am #173394
Entercom, absorbing the CBS stations, will probably keep both and not combine them into one. They make lots of money and have their own demos. I put it as “Sports Hub is 30 yr old guys living in mom’s basement, EEI is 50 yr old guys living in mom’s basement”. OK, a joke. But you have 5 teams, all on one station? Then you have to find a way to shift games that occur at the same time. This is already happening when B’s and C’s play together (or add Pats to the mix). 98.5 gets hockey, 100.7 gets basketball. Rock and roll fans get deprived of their music because of hoops.
If anything, the C’s would be shifted to 93.7 as a permanent home to help prevent such occurances. NESN has a NESN plus for things like that. What are they gonna say, “Well, the Bruins and Red Sox have games at the same time, so we just won’t carry the Bruins game. Sorry.”
Anyway…as for the 93.7 signal, Peabody is still fairly close to Boston and the signal covers a pretty good area. Newton (98.5) is even closer. For 93.7, 103.7 in RI helps the folks to the south. Maybe they could move EEI to 100.7, I don’t know…
>give an intact sports station to a competitor…who will immediately go head to head with it.
Interesting ideas, Uncle Kaimbridge.
What about some kind of merger between WRKO and WBZ, say, on 1030? Problem is, WBZ does well with news and it’s needed especially for morning and afternoon drive. Pre-empting it for boston.com morning show and Howie would be OK in some ways, not in others. Talk and news listenership does decline after 6 pm. A bit later, WBZ goes to talk. WRKO goes to syndicated.March 23, 2017 at 9:59 am #173395
I don’t think the sports stations could be combined. Indeed news or news talk on FM might be good, though it could involve killing off Amp or Mix.
Maybe: Amp 93.7
WEEI-FM 103.3 (Funny, somehow those calls and that frequency sound
Wikipedia:<< The station evolved into its famous “Soft Rock” format in 1977, which remained in place until 1982 when it flipped to a Top 40 format. (During the Soft Rock years, WEEI-FM would only play the softer hits by Rock-oriented artists.March 23, 2017 at 9:43 pm #173421
Entercom is going to keep all of the full market properties as they can. In the Boston market, those will be all of CBS’ stations plus WEEI-FM and either WRKO and or WAAF. WAAF may put them over the cap for FM being close to Boston, so that one may end up for sale with WKAF and WEEI-AM. Don’t forget, today, CBS is running four FMs, one AM and two TV stations for a total of seven properties in the market. So, Entercom could come away on FM with a maximum of five: WEEI-FM, WBZFM, WZLX, WODS, WBMX and on AM with WBZ and WRKO for a total of seven. In addition, Entercom is going to do what they can to keep their two very fringe FMs in the fold to include WWEI in the Springfield and WVEI-FM in Westerly, R.I. for all their sports game coverage and shows. Whether they plan to move around the programming from one station to another remains to be seen, will depend on what is in the cluster in the end.March 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm #173423
I think Entercom should sell 97.7/WKAF back to Radio One. That would be a more appropriate spin off instead of the WBZ stations to iHeartMedia like I previously mentioned.
Let’s introduce some reality into this discussion….
What makes you think Radio One is interested in buying it?
Since they sold 97.7 once already, and have since sold an FM translator they had as well, what makes you think they are interested in coming back to Boston. They have twice shown no interest in competing in Boston.
I don’t think RadioOne has purchased a station since 2004, no?
I think the likelihood of that happening are zilch.March 24, 2017 at 1:14 am #173430
Actually, Radio One’s most recent acquisition happened on November 12, 2015, when they acdquired Wilks Broadcasting’s two stations in Columbus, Ohio.
True…but, remember, they already had a cluster there….and they don’t in Boston.
And I think the whole Columbus deal cost them only $2 Mill.
Entercom bought 97.7 it for $30 Mill…March 24, 2017 at 5:45 am #173431
Ent may hope ownership caps are lifted.
@bostonradio tweeted that none of the CBS stations can be sold or swapped until the close.March 24, 2017 at 3:21 pm #173440
After what they did to WILD-AM and FM, I don’t think so. They’re no class when it comes to destroying heritage radio stations. Stay out of Boston, Radio One! We don’t want you back!March 25, 2017 at 3:31 pm #173451
Here’s an All Access article suggesting what stations may be put into a trust. For Boston, it lists everything Entercom and CBS radio own except for all-sports WBZ-98.5 and classic album rock WZLX-100.7:
Of course, I don’t think the combined CBS/Entercom will put (or will need to) all of them into a trust. I would think that the combined entity will have to put two of the combined company’s FM stations into trusts or sell them off (I don’t think they’d have to put any of their Boston AM’s into a trust or spin them off).
If only two FM stations would have to get spun-off, my guess is that WEEI-93.7 (which would be sold minus call letters, sports rights, programming, and other “intellectual property”) and WKAF-97.7 (the only Class “A” FM station among the combined entity’s Boston-area FM outlets) would be sold.
I see 93.7 as being sold because it transmits from some distance north of Boston and it’s signal isn’t that strong in Southeastern Massachusetts (with WEEI and WBZ-FM being combined into a single all-sports station at 98.5 using the WEEI call letters); and I foresee 97.7 being sold because it’s a Class “A”.
Except for the fact that this deal, if approved by the FCC, likely won’t occur for some months yet, April 3rd would have been a good time to consolidate WEEI and “The Sports Hub”, since that’s Red Sox opening day.
But would the Sox want to have a large number of their early-season games bumped to WZLX-100.7 in order so that the combined CBS/Entercom all-sports station can carry live broadcasts of Bruins and Celtics playoff games??
The Red Sox may only go along with being on the same station as the Bruins, Celtics and Patriots if they prevail in all conflicts with the other three teams…..even if it’s a meaningless regular-season game in early June at the same hour as a deciding Game 7 in either a Bruins’ Stanley Cup Finals series, or a Celtics’ NBA Finals series.
The Sox may be the stumbling block in consolidating WEEI and the Sports Hub into a single station. But if that issue can be overcome, a single all-sports station with all of Boston’s major pro teams would be extremely popular, with it’s popularity driven by play-by-play.
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