About three weeks ago it was reported that Boston sports radio station WEEI would not carry Boston Celtics next season. Today, A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet New England reports that WEEI's rival, 98.5 The Sports Hub, is close to signing a broadcast deal to bring the C's to their station.
Celtics, 98.5 The Sports Hub finalizing broadcast deal | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com
CSNNE.com has learned that the Boston Celtics are "close" to a deal that will make 98.5 The Sports Hub the new radio home of the C's.
An announcement of the new deal is expected to be made as early as next week.
Despite the Celtics fielding a team that's not expected to be among the NBA's elite this season, there was a significant amount of interest in broadcasting their games after it was announced earlier this summer that the C's and WEEI could not come to terms on a new contract.
98.5 The Sports Hub has been a fast riser since it first came on the air in 2009. In fact, their Arbitron ratings have been higher than WEEI this year. I would expect 98.5's steady increase in ratings to continue since they now will carry three of the four major Boston sports teams: the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, and now the Boston Celtics.
As CSNNE.com states, there will likely be many schedule conflicts, but CBS owns a number of stations in the Boston area and will likely move games around depending on the importance of a single game.
Personally, I'm excited for this. I love listening to 98.5 The Sports Hub and look forward to even more Celtics coverage from them. I would assume longtime announcers Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell will make the move as well, and while I don't listen to their actual broadcasts too often, it would be great to hear them more often as guests on daytime radio.