The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed an integrated marketing and broadcasting deal with 790 KABC, according to Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. The deal returns the Dodgers to their radio home from 1973-1997 and includes pre- and post-game shows as well as a weekly talk show for fans.
“The Dodgers and KABC became synonymous during the 70s, 80s and 90s and we’re very excited to be bringing back a piece of Dodger history as we begin the celebration of our 50th anniversary in Los Angeles ,” said McCourt. “Listening to Dodger baseball on the radio has been a tradition in this city for half a century and we believe we’ll be able to serve our fans extremely well with this new agreement.”
The multi-year contract will take effect on November 1, 2007 and grants KABC the English-language radio broadcast rights. In addition to broadcasting all 162 regular-season games and 15 Spring Training games, the highly-rated AM station will partner with the Dodgers on a fully-integrated marketing campaign, promoting the team on sister station 95.5 KLOS FM and in an outdoor advertising campaign.
“This is a grand slam home run from KABC listeners and advertisers,” said John H. Davison, President and General Manager of 790 KABC AM and 95.5 KLOS FM. “Welcome home Dodgers! We are thrilled to bring L.A. ’s number one play-by-play radio franchise back to TalkRadio 790 KABC.”
KABC’s radio signal covers all five counties in Los Angeles and the station will continue to provide the game broadcasts and pre- and post-game shows to the entire Dodger Radio Network, which includes nearly 20 stations across the state and country. Among the cities in which Dodger baseball can be heard are Bakersfield , San Luis Obispo , Palm Springs , Las Vegas , NV , Albuquerque , NM , Vero Beach , FL and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 2005, USA Today ranked the Dodgers’ radio broadcast team of Vin Scully, Rick Monday and Charley Steiner as the best in Major League Baseball based on a technical rating, a fan rating and an entertainment rating. The trio earned 28.5 points out of a possible 30. Scully will return in 2008 for his 59th season as the “Voice of the Dodgers,” the longest tenure of any current sports broadcast with one team. Monday and Steiner also recently signed extensions to keep the award-winning broadcast team in place through 2009.
As part of the new deal, KABC will host a weekly show on Sunday nights in which fans can share their thoughts and get the latest news and information about the team. Additionally, the station will carry a pregame show prior to all 162 games, a post-game recap from Dodger broadcasters and several “specials” during the course of the season.
Having served as the Dodger radio home for half of the team’s 50 years in Los Angeles , KABC returns to that role once again. Previous Dodger flagship stations include KMPC (1958-60), KFI (1961-72), KXTA (1998-2002) and KFWB (2003-07).
Earlier this season, the Dodgers signed a fully-integrated marketing and broadcasting agreement with Liberman Broadcasting Inc. to make KHJ/La Ranchera 930 AM the new Spanish-language broadcasting home of the Dodgers. The deal is believed to be the first-of-its kind for any sports franchise, as it provides the club with marketing tools on four top-rated local radio stations and one local television station. The Dodgers became the first team in Major League history to have a bilingual broadcast when they first began airing games in Spanish in 1958.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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