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NBA team reaches deal with local radio station

Oklahoma City NBA team owner Clay Bennett will be on The Sports Animal, WWLS-FM 98.1, at 5 p.m. today.

Citadel Broadcasting has been selected to have the radio rights for Oklahoma City's NBA team.

The Sports Animal is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, which also owns WKY-AM 930.

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: July 30, 2008 at 8:07 pm •  Published: July 30, 2008
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Clay Bennett, the chairman of Oklahoma City’s NBA franchise, announced that the team will broadcast its games on The Sports Animal, WWLS-FM 98.1.

“We’re real excited,” Bennett said. “We’ve had a real great relationship with you guys through the years.”

The Sports Animal will broadcast all 82 regular season games this season.

The team also has not announced a broadcasting team.

“We haven’t made a final decision on talent,” Bennett said.

Matt Pinto did play-by-play and color commentary during Sonics games, but Bennett said that may be re-evaluated, which could include the addition of a color commentator.

In addition to a standard rights fee, the team is believed to have sought the entire block of commercial space during the broadcasts, a compromise several local stations find a hard time making because of the loss of advertising revenue.

WWLS is believed to have become a more attractive option for the NBA team because of its national appeal as an FM station and its strong wattage, which allows it to reach more people. Earlier this month, WWLS moved from 97.9 and upgraded its signal to 31,000 watts.

“(The signal) was another good timing issue,” Bennett said.