J.R. Lind of the Nashville Post was first out of the gates with news this morning confirming that indeed the Nashville Predators will move their game broadcasts to 102.5 "The Game", The Cromwell Group's new foray into FM sports talk radio. Interestingly, this move also accompanies a contract extension between the Preds and The Cromwell Group.
Perhaps even better, it looks the Preds will be a primary focus of the new station, as instead of getting bounced around the dial for individual games due to conflicts with other sports (a common problem in previous years at 104.5), it sounds like all regular season and playoff games will air on 102.5, even at the expense of (dare we say it) college football:
There are potential conflicts with the Crimson Tide's schedule: Nine of Alabama's 12 games are on Saturdays with Predators games scheduled and kickoff times for SEC games are rarely set less than 10 days in advance. But the Predators-Cromwell deal requires all regular season games to be broadcast on 102.5.
As J.R. goes on to explain, the interesting point now is who will host the pre- and post-game shows. Willy Daunic has been the institution there, but will 104.5 allow him to continue those duties for what is now a direct competitor of theirs? It was one thing to let him moonlight for Preds games on a rock station last year, but this represents a different situation entirely.
If the Cromwell Group wants to make serious inroads with Predators fans, they'll touch base with the guys at Section303.com about providing some content for them; they already know how to produce quality audio content via their podcasts, which boast production values among the very best in the sports podcasting world, and have an authentic voice that resonates with local hockey fans.
The team's press release follows after the jump...
Nashville Predators today announced a multi-year extension with Cromwell Group Inc. that will see the Predators and their ancillary programming serve as the centerpiece of 102.5 The Game's new all-sports format.
Cromwell Group, Inc. affiliate WYCQ, Inc owns three local stations: WPRT 102.5 The Game, 102.9 WBUZ The Buzz and WQZQ 102.1/830 AM The Light. Beginning this season, 102.5 The Game will carry select preseason, all regular season and all postseason Predators games. This marks the second consecutive season that all Predators regular season and playoff contests will be aired on the same station - with all games broadcasting on sister station 102.9 WBUZ The Buzz last season. The Predators will continue to maintain a strong promotional presence with The Buzz.
Games will include a minimum 30-minute pregame show as well as an hour-long postgame show. All postgame shows following home games will originate from Bridgestone Arena's Patrón Platinum Club and will be open to all ticketed fans in attendance. Tom Callahan returns as the Predators radio-specific play-by-play announcer and will call the action for the club's radio-only regular season games, with former Preds enforcer Stu Grimson joining as Color Analyst for most home games. For all other contests, Callahan will join the longtime team of Pete Weber and Terry.
"We saw first-hand the Cromwell Group's commitment and passion to our franchise last year," Nashville Predators Executive Vice President Chris Parker said. "This has been further illustrated by their creation of an all-sports station and their commitment to make the Nashville Predators its centerpiece. Cromwell is planning additional programming and promotions with the Predators and we can't wait to get started delivering more to the fans."
"We are delighted to make the Predators the cornerstone tenant for Nashville's only 100,000 watt all sports station, 102.5 The Game," Troy Hanson, 102.5 The Game program director said. "The pairing of these two unique brands is a natural fit."
WPRT's first Nashville Predators broadcast will be the preseason game on Tuesday, Sept. 20 when the Washington Capitals host the Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena. A complete radio broadcast schedule can be found online at nashvillepredators.com or 1025thegame.com.
Several regional affiliates complete the broadcast radio network of the Nashville Predators during the hockey season, as games are broadcast throughout the state of Tennessee, as well as parts of Kentucky and Alabama. These affiliates are as follows:
WHUB Cookeville, TN 1400AM
WMSR Manchester, TN 1320AM
WHOP Hopkinsville, KY 1230AM / 95.3FM
WCDS Glasgow, KY 1230AM
WAKI McMinnville, TN 1230AM
WBGN Bowling Green, KY 1340AM
WMLR Hohenwald, TN 1230AM
WMSR Manchester, TN 1320AM
WMRB Columbia, TN 98.5FM / 910AM
WKRO Paducah, KY 1490AM
WNTC Drakesboro, KY 103.9FM
WWIC Scottboro, AL 1050AM