New radio deal gives 49ers 'unmatched' coverage

The 49ers have a new radio deal that will expand the team's coverage and allow their games to be broadcast on three San Francisco Bay Area stations beginning this season.

In ending an 18-year partnership with KGO 810-AM, the Niners have reached an agreement on a four-year deal with Susquehanna Radio that will provide the team with three flagship stations, including popular Bay Area sports sites KNBR 680 and KTCT 1050. Beginning this season, San Francisco's games also will be simulcast on one of the region's popular classic rock FM stations, 107.7 The BONE (KSAN).

The new deal is expected to provide the 49ers with almost eight hours of extensive game-day coverage, including pre-game and post-game shows, while also offering more than 20 hours a week in 49ers' programming, including players' and coaches' shows and other team-specific programming and promotion.

"That is unmatched by any team in any sport," 49ers owner John York said. "We are very excited about our partnership with Susquehanna Radio (and) thrilled with the opportunity to be able to communicate with our fans so thoroughly. This partnership will provide our fans with unprecedented 49ers coverage."

In January, the Niners took their broadcast rights in-house with the purpose of gaining more control over the team's programming and to provide their business partners with more media opportunities. The team now controls the rights to the broadcasts, including the production of the radiocasts, the hiring of announcers and the selling of advertising.

"By bringing our broadcast rights in-house and by joining forces with the market leader in sports broadcasting, we will reach our fans like never before," 49ers vice president of sales and marketing David Peart said. "The partnership also allows us to connect with young listeners and to develop new fans through 107.7 The BONE. The possibilities seem endless. We are looking forward to a long and enjoyable relationship."

Peart said the 49ers would like to keep in place the duo of play-by-play man Joe Starkey and analyst Gary Plummer. Starkey has been doing play-by-play for 49ers games since 1989 and Plummer – a former star linebacker for the team – joined the broadcasts as analyst in 1998.

In leaving KGO, the No. 1 station in the market, the 49ers were particularly intrigued by the aspect of increased promotion and the opportunity to be associated with entertainment broadcasting.

"We know the sports and entertainment business inside and out, and (we) are ready to put it to work for the 49ers and (their) fans," said Tony Salvadore, Susquehanna Radio's senior vice president/San Francisco market manager. "The combination of the games airing in ‘Bone-crushing stereo,' and the collective expertise from the leading sports stations make this a truly unique partership."

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