SBD/January 29, 2013/Media

The Tribe Has Spoken: Indians Re-Up With WTAM-AM For Five More Years

The Indians have signed a five-year extension with WTAM-AM that will see the station “broadcast all regular season Tribe games,” according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. WTAM will air 15 Spring Training games annually and will “distribute all games to the 26 stations on the Indians radio network throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.” WTAM has broadcast Indians games since ’98. As part of the deal, WMMS-FM will “simulcast an estimated 144 of its games per season over the length of the contract.” Announcers Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus will remain with the club. Rosenhaus has signed a multiyear deal with the Indians following his first full year as Hamilton’s on-air partner. Hamilton, who enters his 24th season in the booth, “was already under a long-term deal” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/29).

ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: In Pittsburgh, Gene Collier noted there is “no significant increase in money ... flowing from Root Sports to the Pirates” for the team’s TV deal, which is in “just the fourth year of a 10-year deal that brings in" around $20M annually. It is “evident that something ought to be done about what industry insiders know is a terrible deal for the Pirates, aka a great deal for Root Sports.” Collier wrote Pirates Chair Bob Nutting “should walk down the street and offer a 20- or 25-year commitment in exchange for a drastic upward adjustment in compensation for the ballclub.” The Pirates, for “all their pratfalls, get good-to-great ratings for Root.” If the Pirates “went away, in fact, Root Sports in Pittsburgh would ... be screwed.” Root Sports “ought to jump at the chance to continue a very lucrative partnership that can sustain its own synergies through the next quarter century” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/27).
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