Despite what happens with the Entercom and CBS Radio merger and the necessary divestitures in Boston, one thing will remain certain: the NFL’s New England Patriots will continue to be heard on Sports “98.5 The Sports Hub” WBZ-FM.
During the pregame show prior to tonight’s season opening game, Patriots President Jonathan Kraft announced that the team has signed a multi-year extension to keep the games on WBZ-FM. The Patriots have been heard on CBS Radio stations in the Boston market since 1994 when they spent a season on then Westinghouse News/Talk 1030 WBZ, before moving to Infinity Broadcasting’s 104.1 WBCN in 1995 and to 98.5 when that frequency flipped to Sports in 2009.
The team’s current broadcasters, play-by-play man Bob Socci and analyst Scott Zolak are expected to remain in those positions for the duration of the deal.
CBS RADIO and the five-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots jointly announced today a multi-year contract extension to keep Patriots games on Boston’s WBZ-FM, 98.5 The Sports Hub. Team President Jonathan Kraft joined today’s pre-game show to share the news. Bob Socci and Scott Zolak will continue as play-by-play host and color analyst, respectively. CBS RADIO has served as the flagship radio partner of the Patriots since 1994 when the games aired on WBZ-AM, before transitioning to WBCN-FM in 1995.
“Our continued partnership with the New England Patriots underscores CBS RADIO’s leadership in sports radio,” said Andre Fernandez, President and CEO, CBS RADIO. “We have enjoyed an incredible relationship with this storied franchise for over 20 years and are proud to continue our partnership into the future.”
“The New England Patriots are proud to extend our partnership with 98.5 The Sports Hub,” said Murray Kohl, Patriots vice president of sales. “It has been a great relationship since they launched in 2009, and extends a relationship that we have had with CBS RADIO since the Krafts bought the Patriots in 1994. Fans have become reliant on the nine hours of coverage every game day, highlighted by the best broadcast tandem in the industry. There is no play-by-play announcer more prepared and polished in his delivery than Bob Socci, and Scott Zolak not only provides unique insight, but has quickly become an iconic fan-favorite in New England. We look forward to many more years teaming with 98.5 The Sports Hub.”
“Since our launch in 2009, the New England Patriots have been a key partner of 98.5 The Sports Hub. We are honored to continue broadcasting the five-time Super Bowl Champions to avid Patriots fans and Sports Hub listeners throughout New England,” said Mark Hannon, SVP/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Boston.
Complementing each game, The Sports Hub broadcasts “Patriots Preview” three hours prior to each game, as well as a three-hour post-game show which breaks down the game, features press conferences and gives fans a chance to react. Both shows are hosted by Marc Bertrand, co-host of The Sports Hub’s midday show, “Zolak and Bertrand.” Joining Bertrand as co-hosts of the pre and post-game shows are Chris Gasper and Steve DeOssie. Gasper is a Boston Globe and Boston.com columnist and co-host of “Gasper & Murray” on The Sports Hub on Saturdays mornings. DeOssie is a former NFL player for the Patriots, Giants and Cowboys, and a stand-out player at Boston College. Albert Breer, host of Sports Illustrated’s “The MMQB Podcast,” serves as a pregame contributor.
Before joining the Patriots Radio Network, play-by-play reporter Bob Socci served as the voice of the Naval Academy Midshipmen for 16 years. The Milton, Mass. native has also been the lead voice of Patriot League college basketball for CBS Sports Network, and has called Triple A baseball, most recently as voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Scott Zolak spent eight seasons as a Patriots quarterback and is currently the co-host of The Sports Hub’s midday show, “Zolak & Bertrand.” He also co-hosts WBZ-TV’s Patriots All Access and TV38’s Patriots This Week. Zolak served a season on the sidelines as an on-field reporter in 2011. Prior to that, he was a co-host of the Patriots Radio Network pre-and post-game shows for six seasons. He’s served as an analyst on Channel 4’s Patriots Gameday and Patriots Fifth Quarter for the last 14 seasons. Zo’s been a frequent guest on Comcast SportsNet New England, and he’s shown his skill in the television booth as a color analyst on college football telecasts for CSTV.