- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2002

The University of Maryland yesterday signed three-year deals with WMAL-AM (630) in Washington and WBAL-AM (1090) in Baltimore to broadcast both its football and men's basketball games.
The new pacts replace a recently expired three-year football pact on WTEM-AM (980) and WBAL, and a three-year deal for basketball on WMAL and WBAL. The new contracts, negotiated by outside sales agent Terrapin Sports Marketing, reflect a desire of university officials to more heavily and efficiently promote the athletic program.
"There's a real continuity now that we didn't have before," said Chris Janush, business manager for Terrapin Sports Marketing. "Maryland sports are on one station in Washington and one station in Baltimore. The games are destination programming anyway, but it makes it a lot easier for the fan and more attractive for the sponsor."
The new deals also end a situation in which Maryland had to pay to get radio coverage in the Washington market. In the previous deal, WTEM required annual payments from Maryland to get on the air. In the new Washington deals, Maryland will grant both the broadcast rights and local ad slots to WMAL without any exchange of cash.
Specific terms were not disclosed, but WBAL's rights fees more than doubled in the new accord. The 1999-2002 radio deals provided a total of about $700,000 to the university.
"Washington and Baltimore are very different markets in that regard. Baltimore has long been more willing to pay for [Maryland] broadcast rights," Janush said.
The deals were up for renewal this summer, but Maryland's timing is quite fortunate with the men's basketball team defending national champions and the football team defending ACC champs.
"I'd like to think we could have done this anyway, but yes, the market really showed a great interest and passion for Maryland based on the success on the field," Janush said.
Johnny Holliday will remain the voice of the Terps, as he has been since 1979. He will be joined in the football booth again by Jonathan Claiborne and Tim Strachan and on basketball coverage by Chris Knoche. The programming will be supplemented by weekly coaches shows with Gary Williams and Ralph Friedgen, as well as some women's basketball games.
WBAL, whose 50,000-watt signal makes it one of the most broadly heard AM stations in the mid-Atlantic, has been affiliated with Maryland sports since 1984 and retains its position as the flagship of the Maryland Radio Network.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide