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PATRIOTS HEAD TO FM DIAL IN "MOST LUCRATIVE" NFL RADIO DEAL
Published November 18, 1994
The Patriots announced that will leave WBZ-AM radio next season and shift their broadcasts to "rock 'n roll WBCN," marking the first time in the team's 35 years that play-by-play will be on the FM dial. Although no figures were announced, WBCN's owner, Infinity Broadcasting reportedly will pay the Pats $3.5M next season and $10.5M over the next three years, "the most lucrative package" in the NFL. WBZ is paying the team $1.85M this season. WBZ offered close to $2M, as did American Radio Systems on behalf of WEEI. WBCN GM Tony Beradini: "Yes, it is a lot of money, but I believe that three years from now this deal is going to look like a bargain." The fact that all Pats games are expected to be on TV in the foreseeable future because of home sellouts "handicaps radio sales." On the positive side, the fact that the team also owns Foxboro Stadium provides merchandising possibilities, "linking sponsors to signage in the stadium" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/18). The Pats are Infinity's fifth NFL team, which includes the Cowboys, Eagles, Buccaneers and Jets. It also has the Mets, Rangers, 76ers and Flyers, and is looking to establish a sports-marketing network, "offering advertisers key spots in multiple markets with better rates than they could get in single-station deals" (Jim Baker, BOSTON HERALD, 11/18).