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Fresno State announces ESPN 940 AM as new radio home

By | December 12, 2012 | Sports (4)

The Fresno State Bulldogs are switching radio homes in a move that Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh said would give the school’s athletics more programming opportunites.

Fresno State athletics and its exclusive multimedia rights holder, Bulldog Sports Properties, announced Wednesday that a six-year radio agreement has been reached between Fresno-based One Putt Broadcastin and Learfield Sports, a third-party owner of the broadcasting rights to Fresno State athletics.

Stations KFIG 940 ESPN and KFPT 790 ESPN “The Deuce” are owned by One Putt Broadcasting.

The agreement has been made for KFIG 940 ESPN to air all Fresno State football, men’s basketball and baseball games along with hour-long seasonal coaches’ shows, beginning in the 2013-14 season.

Select women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and softball games will also be broadcast on KFPT 790 ESPN “The Deuce.”

“We have more programming opportunities,” Boeh said. “Part of the reason that Learfield was so interested in this because of the format that KFIG brings – since they’re 24/7, all-sports and that’s going to be such a popular format these days.

“It really hones us into the audience that we’re looking to communicate with.”

More programming options, along with a 50,000-watt AM station in KFIG ESPN 940, afford the school’s athletics with different options, Boeh said.

“We can blast out the Valley on a 50,000-watt station and at the same time still have opportunities to export,” Boeh said. “This is a very, very good deal. It’s a great opportunity for Fresno State athletics.”

The partnership between Fresno State and One Putt Broadcasting comes after KMJ (580 AM) ended its 43-year association with Fresno State football and men’s basketball because it could not reach terms on a contract agreement.

“We truly appreciate everything that KMJ has done for Fresno State athletics over the years,” Boeh said. “We’re excited about the future.”

Boeh said a push has been made to keep KMJ’s Paul Loeffler as the play-by-play announcer for Fresno State athletics broadcasts. Loeffler, the sports director for KMJ, has been the play-by-play announcer for Bulldogs broadcasts since 2008.

“Of course, we have made a point of suggestion that we’d like to see Paul Leffler stay the voice of the Fresno State Bulldogs,” Boeh said.

Learfield Sports has paid the university for the multimedia rights to Fresno State broadcasts since 2007.

One Putt Broadcasting is co-owned by Chris Pacheco, a former Fresno State football player.

Fresno State expects more financial revenue to come out of the deal with One Putt Broadcasting.

“This is all run by Learfield Communications, who manages Bulldog Sports Properties, and it’s all part of our larger package, which creates all of our media, all of our broadcast properties, they’re all lumped into one,” Boeh said.

“So Learfield pays us, in essence, and then we in essence give them the rights and they go out and sell it.

“There is a lucrative component to this. There will be more money that comes to the university through Learfield and so we are going to benefit financially.”
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