Cleveland Browns Agree Unprecedented Broadcast Deal with ESPN & CBS
March 28, 2013
Cleveland Browns have agreed a historic broadcast deal with ESPN and CBS that will see an unprecedented “triple-cast” of their games on radio from next season.
The NFL team have awarded broadcast rights to ESPN’s WKNR AM/850 and CBS Radio’s WKRK FM/92.3 and WNCX FM 98.5. The two organistations are believed to have secured the rights to Browns games for at least five seasons.
Browns president Alec Scheiner said: ““We really think this is a great deal and we got to that point through the creativity and intelligence of our partners.
“We had a vision for what the Cleveland Browns needed in terms of content and exposure and programming. CBS and ESPN got together and delivered all the things we wanted jointly. I will give them all the credit for coming up with this structure.”
That ESPN and CBS could agree on a deal together is a sign of the Browns’ popularity, according to Craig Karmazin, founder of Good Karma Broadcasting, which owns the ESPN affiliate.
Karmazin said: “We talked about (the rivalry) in our first conversations, but the Browns are such a great community entity we knew could make it work. We thought working together would send a really powerful statement for the Browns.”
As well as game broadcasts, Browns auxiliary programming will almost double to 1000 hours per year. The new deal begins at the NFL Draft on 25 April, where WKRK will be broadcasting live for the first two days, and WKNR will take over coverage for the final day. The stations will also simulcast a coach’s show and promote Browns-sponsored charity events.
Scheiner added: “We wanted our fans to be able to listen to a great deal of programming. By being on a number of stations we feel as though we are broadening the number of people who can hear our content and we believe a lot of it will be unique to what others can provide.”