In one of the most expansive radio rights deals in the NFL, the Browns today announced a long-term partnership with two local all-sports stations, CBS RADIO’s 92.3 The Fan (WKRK-FM) and ESPN 850 WKNR, to broadcast all Browns games. CBS RADIO’s WNCX (98.5 FM) will also carry live game action beginning in 2013, as the team will now have a triplecast of games in the local market.
This partnership will directly benefit Browns fans, with a significant enhancement of quality team programming as well as more access to the organization. In addition, the partnership will increase the community outreach and further connect these stations and the Browns to the community through joint philanthropic endeavors, including an annual Radiothon.
In addition to the broadcast of Browns games, 92.3 The Fan and ESPN 850 WKNR also will air extensive pre- and post-game programming. This includes a four-hour pre-game show on ESPN 850 WKNR and a two-hour post-game show on 92.3 The Fan. Both stations will provide extensive coverage of the 2013 NFL Draft, which will be held Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27.
Long-time voices of the Browns, Jim Donovan (play-by-play) and Doug Dieken (analyst) will continue to serve in their current roles. In addition, Jamir Howerton will once again file reports from the Browns sideline.
“We are truly excited to partner with two companies that are so dedicated to Cleveland sports,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “This setup ensures that our fans will continue to have easy and frequent access to our game broadcasts as well as extensive shoulder programming. Both ESPN 850 WKNR and 92.3 The Fan are committed to all-sports formats, and we are thrilled that the Browns will be a major part of their lineups on a year-round basis.”
“This model is one of the most expansive and innovative radio rights deals in the NFL and our fans will benefit the most,” added Browns President Alec Scheiner. “Not only do we want to greatly enhance the gameday experience for our fans at the stadium, but we also want to give everyone who tunes in to our game broadcasts as many options as possible. We have heard from our fans how much they enjoy listening to Jim and Doug bring them all of the game action each week, and we are ecstatic that they will continue to be the ‘voices’ of the Browns.”
“We couldn’t be happier that 92.3 The Fan and 98.5, WNCX will help bring the excitement of Cleveland Browns football to fans across Northeast Ohio for many years to come,” said CBS RADIO Cleveland Senior Vice President and Market Manager Tom Herschel. “92.3 The Fan is committed to delivering the highest quality programming and putting fans in the center of the action both on and off the field. Our stations are looking forward to carrying on that tradition with the Cleveland Browns.”
"The Cleveland Browns are at the core of the passion of the Cleveland sports fan, so this partnership will provide official Browns programming and live play by play that our fans crave," said Good Karma Broadcasting Founder and CEO, Craig Karmazin. "We are elated to partner with the Browns and CBS RADIO to give fans unparalleled access, entertainment and information at a time when interest in the NFL and the Cleveland Browns has never been higher."
Both 92.3 The Fan and ESPN 850 WKNR, which are joining the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network, will carry a multitude of Browns programming elements and content throughout the year. This includes a weekly coach’s show which will air on both stations, in addition to a weekly preview show that will be carried on ESPN 850 WKNR. “Cleveland Browns Daily,” which is hosted by Vic Carucci and airs on ESPN 850 WKNR Monday through Friday from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., will be expanding to a two-hour format at a time that will be announced in the near future. In all, there is expected to be more than 1,000 hours of Browns-related shows between the two stations on an annual basis. This total is more than double the amount that currently exists.
Additionally, there will be expanded Browns digital offerings on both station web sites, as well as a 24-hour dedicated Browns HD multicast radio station on 92.3 The Fan. More programming elements will be announced in the near future.
LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media, Inc. advised the Browns as this deal progressed.
ABOUT GOOD KARMA BROADCASTING:
Good Karma Broadcasting, LLC is a sports marketing company with expertise in sports radio and event marketing. GKB operates nine ESPN affiliated stations, including eight in Top 100 markets, in addition to three other radio stations throughout the country. The company is passionate about offering unique solutions to its partners within the sports marketing arena, and has grown into a marketing enterprise with solutions ranging from digital, wireless, mobile, event, television partnerships, sponsorships and personality endorsements. GKB owns and operates two all-sports stations in Cleveland, ESPN 850 WKNR and ESPN 1540 KNR2 as well as ESPNCleveland.com to serve the fans of Cleveland sports. ESPN Cleveland offers fans a variety of sports content, including local and national shows and local and national play-by-play of the top sporting events. For more information, please visit www.gkbsports.com and www.ESPNCleveland.com.
ABOUT CBS RADIO:
CBS RADIO is one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States, with 127 stations across 28 markets, including all of the Top 10. This division of CBS Corporation pioneered the sports radio format more than 25 years ago and has more than 25 all-sports stations among its portfolio, the majority of which are in the Top 15 markets nationwide. In addition, CBS RADIO launched CBS Sports Radio in 2013, offering around-the-clock national sports coverage and programming which harnesses the power and resources of CBS RADIO and the award-winning CBS Sports.