Who will televise the franchise's games? The rights have yet to be awarded. FSN Southwest and Cox Communications would be the leading candidates to claim the TV rights. FSN Southwest already carries the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. A network spokesman said, "FSN Southwest is a fully distributed network throughout the Sonics' territory. We look forward to having conversations with the Sonics now that they are free to discuss their future in Oklahoma.” Cox carried a full slate of Hornets telecasts from Louisiana-based Cox Sports Television during the teams two years in Oklahoma City and a 25-game schedule last year.
Will any of the games be carried on national TV? Only a few at the most. Although eight Sonics telecasts were carried last season (four on TNT and four on ESPN) because of the star power of rookie Kevin Durant, the team had a dismal year. The move to a smaller TV market makes the team less attractive to the networks. Which station will carry the games on radio? These rights also haven't been awarded. Clear Channel Communications and the Sports Animal Radio Network and would be the leading candidates. Clear Channel carried both seasons of the Hornets, on KTOK-AM 1000 the first season and KHBZ-FM 94.7 the second. The Sports Animal has plenty of air time to provide extensive pregame and postgame coverage and it covers most of the state, especially since WWLS-FM is boosting its power when it moves from 97.9 to 98.1 on Wednesday. Will FSN Southwest be allowed to televise Mavericks' games in Oklahoma City? No. The Sonics' territorial rights will prevent that. The network likely will be able to provide some games to cable systems outside the Sonics' primary 75-mile radius, although a league spokesman could not reached for comment Thursday. Local Mavericks fans could still watch the telecasts by purchasing the NBA League Pass out-of-market package.
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