Bulldogs Announce Radio, TV Pact
Aug. 8, 2001
SPOKANE, Wash. - In the inaugural agreement of its kind in Spokane intercollegiate athletics history, Gonzaga University, Brett Sports & Entertainment, Citadel Communications and KHQ-TV have signed a long-term agreement to broadcast Bulldog men's basketball games on radio and television beginning with the upcoming 2001-02 season.
The joint announcement was made Wednesday afternoon by Mike Roth, Gonzaga director of athletics, Bobby Brett, president of Brett Sports & Entertainment, Jim Richmond, vice-president and general manager of Citadel Communications, and Lon Lee, president of KHQ-TV.
The agreement will make Gonzaga men's basketball the sports leader on 50,000 watt 1510 KGA AM radio in Spokane for the next five years. KGA is the largest radio signal in Spokane. Brett Sports & Entertainment and Citadel Communications partnered in bidding for Gonzaga's radio rights. KHQ-TV will televise a minimum of nine games per year - six home games and three away games - for each of the next three seasons on either KGPX (local PAX station) or KHQ-TV Channel 6. It's the largest local commercial television package for collegiate basketball in Spokane television history.
"We are extremely excited about the partnership between Gonzaga, Brett Sports, Citadel Communications and KHQ-TV. This is a first for Gonzaga University," Roth said. "Being the number one team on the number one radio signal in Spokane reinforces what Gonzaga University in general and men's basketball in particular means to the Spokane community.
"We also think this is reflected in the commitment KHQ-TV has made to televise Gonzaga men's basketball - both home and away. It gives fans who are unable to get a ticket to our games a chance to see nearly a third of our games on local television."
Brett, who owns Spokane Indians baseball, Spokane Chiefs hockey and Spokane Shadow soccer, said the partnership of Brett Sports, Citadel Communications and KHQ-TV makes sense to bring Spokane the best possible coverage of Gonzaga men's basketball.
"Brett Sports and Citadel were both going to submit radio bids, and KHQ was interested in televising games," Brett said. "We sat down and said why not work together. We've had business relationships with both entities, and Citadel and KHQ have had working agreements in the past. It all fell together and made not only business sense, but sports sense as well. We couldn't be happier with the partnership."
Lee said having Gonzaga basketball on local commercial television is long overdue.
"Gonzaga basketball has long deserved more games on television, and we are pleased to be able to air home and away games in Spokane on KGPX (local PAX station) and KHQ-TV Channel 6. Gonzaga, Brett Sports, Citadel and KHQ is a winning combination for Zag fans and alumni," Lee stated.
Richmond is equally thrilled about having Bulldog basketball on KGA radio.
"We are very excited to be a part of Gonzaga athletics. Gonzaga is a first-rate program that deserves to be in the first position on a station with the coverage of 1510 KGA," Richmond said. "The partnership of Citadel Communications and Brett Sports allows us to promote Gonzaga athletics in a way that has never been done before. KGA's 50,000 watt signal and the sports marketing expertise of Brett Sports will bring unprecedented radio play-by-play and coaches shows to Gonzaga University and its fans."
Few, who was out of town and unable to attend the monumental announcement, said the radio and television package is the best he's seen as he enters his third year as head coach and his 13th year overall in the Bulldogs' program.
"I can't tell you what this means to our program, the university and the city of Spokane," Few said. "To be the sole sports entity on a powerful station like KGA is a credit to Jim Richmond and Bobby Brett, and is something the people of Spokane and the fans of Gonzaga should truly cherish.
"Plus, to have the opportunity to have Gonzaga men's basketball aired on KHQ-TV is an enormous boost to our program, our recruiting efforts and to the basketball fans of Spokane. KHQ has long been the television pioneer in Spokane and we are proud to be a part of their family," Few continued.
Lee said KHQ-TV Sports Director John Fritz and 4:30 First News anchor Greg Heister will be the courtside announcers for the television games produced by KHQ. Lee said the schedule of televised games to be aired on KGPX and KHQ is being formulated.
Roth said Gonzaga, Brett Sports and Citadel will mutually agree upon the radio play-by-play announcer.
"All of us are committed to having the best available announcer doing our radio games," Roth said.
Gonzaga opens the regular season Friday, Nov. 16 at the University of
Illinois. The regular-season home debut will be Sunday, Nov. 18, when the
University of Montana visits The Kennel at 2 p.m.
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