The Oklahoma City Thunder is staying put on the radio dial. The Thunder and Cumulus Media have signed a multiyear agreement that allows WWLS-FM 98.1 (The Sports Animal) to continue as the team's flagship radio station, the Thunder and Cumulus announced today.
All Thunder preseason, regular-season and postseason games will be carried live on The Sports Animal as they have been since the team arrived from Seattle in 2008.
All Thunder games will also be broadcast on The Sports Animal's sister station KWPN-AM 640, in addition to a dozen other stations across the state and region on the Thunder Radio Network. Matt Pinto will return for his sixth season as the radio play-by-play voice.
“We are proud and excited to continue our strong relationship with Cumulus and The Sports Animal,” said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president of corporate communications and community relations, in a news release. “They are the leaders in sports radio in Oklahoma, with passion and excitement for Thunder basketball.”
Cumulus Media Market Manager Larry Bastida said in the release, “When Cumulus Media acquired these stations back in 2011, our then-pre-existing Thunder alliance was one of the first things the company identified as most exciting. Consequently, the extension of our Thunder relationship was enthusiastically supported, especially when considering the partnership's significant impacts on both listenership and advertising revenues, not to mention the thrill provided to our employees from being associated with a brand recognized worldwide!”
In addition to game broadcasts and pregame and postgame shows, The Sports Animal will continue to carry the weekly “Thunder Insider.” Beginning this season, Pinto will host a weekly call-in Thunder talk show and the station will provide a live stream of Thunder games via its website, thesportsanimal.com. That stream will be limited to a 75-mile radius around Oklahoma City.
Thunder coverage on The Sports Animal also includes daily practice reports, player interviews and regular on-air appearances by Pinto and TV analysts the Fox Sports Oklahoma broadcast team of Brian Davis and Grant Long.
Live Spanish-language broadcasts of Thunder home games will continue on Cumulus station WKY-AM 930 (La Indomable). Veteran broadcaster Eleno Ornelas will return to provide play-by-play. Ornelas also serves as the Spanish-language announcer for the Texas Rangers.