Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WEEI makes a move to retain local and national football coverage

WEEI AM 850 has made a couple of big deals to retain its signature programming content. The local sports leader has reached an extension deal with the New England Patriots to keep "Patriots Monday" and "Patriots Fridays" as part of multi-year renewal deal which follows last year's multi-year renewal deal. Entercom's local sports powerhouse WEEI also grabs the game ball with a new 2-year contract with national syndicator Westwood One to air all prime-time NFL action on Sundays, Thursdays and Monday nights as well as exclsuive local coverage of NFL playoffs and Super Bowl as long as it doesn't involve the Patriots. The Patriots games will air exclusively on WEEI's new competitor and team's flagship WBZ-FM/Sports Hub 98-5 which debut on August 13th.

(Update 7/23 : Late yesterday, WEEI's press people actually sent in a clarification to their press release below. They stated that the Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday deals are currently into their SECOND year of the contract. As was noted in the post above, the renewal agreement for Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday was announced last July. It appears that only Westwood One's NFL package on WEEI was extended for two more years )

Here's Entercom's press release :

For Immediate Release


July 22, 2009 (Boston) —The WEEI Sports Radio Network announced two significant contract extensions today surrounding long-time NFL and New England Patriots programming.

WEEI has inked a multi-year extension with the Patriots to continue the top-rated Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programs for the foreseeable future. The two shows provide listeners with the most comprehensive and insightful pre and post game analysis, and consist of top-flight interviews with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and a host of players. Past participants have included Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork and Tedy Bruschi.

The network will also continue its exclusive local programming of NFL Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and NFL playoffs through its partnership with Westwood One. The contract has just been extended another two years.

“Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday are staples of the WEEI lineup and are appointment listening for New England fans,” said Entercom New England Vice President of AM Programming Jason Wolfe. “The Patriots are tremendous partners and we’re thrilled to continue this can’t miss programming while expanding our relationship with the team.” Wolfe continued, “The Patriots are primed for another Super Bowl run, and that will put a much larger emphasis on the games, league wide. WEEI is proud to be Boston’s only home for the NFL’s primetime lineup for the next two years.”

Entercom is one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasters with operations, pro forma for pending acquisitions, in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Norfolk, Buffalo, New Orleans, Providence, Memphis, Greensboro, Rochester, Greenville/Spartanburg, Madison, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Springfield and Gainesville/Ocala.

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