Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Philly Radio: Entercom, MLB Phillies Reach New Broadcast Deal

Entercom Communications Corp. has reached a new deal to retain radio broadcast rights to Phillies games on SportsRadio 94 WIP, representing the first multi-year pact between the two.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, according to The Philadelphia Business Journal.

A company spokesman told the Business Journal the deal was signed recently and described it as “long-term.” The Phillies signed a three-year broadcasts rights deal with Entercom predecessor CBS Radio after the 2016 season that extended through 2019. Philadelphia-based Entercom bought CBS Radio in November 2017.

Dave Buck, Phillies executive vice president, said the team was negotiating a new, long-term deal with Entercom when Covid-19 hit and both sides were forced to focus on internal business issues. The two operated last year on similar terms to the previous contract.

“We’re eagerly awaiting the return of Phillies baseball and are happy to announce a new broadcast extension with the club,” Entercom Philadelphia Market Manager David Yadgaroff said in a statement.

After missing the playoffs for the past nine seasons, there is great anticipation for the upcoming Phillies season. The team resigned All-Star catcher J.T Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius as well as added several free agent pitchers and popular bench player Brad Miller.

The Phillies have had a long-term relationship with CBS Radio and now Entercom. For years, games were broadcast on 1210 WPHT-AM and began simulcasting on 94WIP to lure an FM audience in 2012. Starting in 2016, games only aired on CBS sister station WIP.

The contract will continue to include live play-by-play coverage of Phillies spring training, regular season and post-season games. WIP will host regular broadcasts from a permanent radio studio built on the concourse within Citizens Bank Park.

The team of Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen and Kevin Fransden will return to the booth. One voice that will be missing this year is Jim Jackson, who said in October that he had been dropped from the team's radio broadcats after a 14-year run.

The Phillies are in the middle of a 25-year, $2.5 billion television broadcast agreement with NBC Sports Philadelphia, which included the Phillies acquiring a 25% stake in the network and a portion of advertising revenue.

In addition to the Phillies, WIP is also home to Eagles game broadcasts. When there are conflicts in August and September, the Eagles have traditionally taken precedence, with Phillies games airing on one of the other Entercom stations in Philadelphia — WPHT, KYW Newsradio (both 1060AM and 103.9 FM), adult contemporary station B101 (WBEB-FM), classic hits station 98.1 (WOGL-FM) and Top 40 station 96.5 TDY.

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