After 32 seasons on KNBR-680 “The Sports Leader” on AM radio, the Golden State Warriors are jumping to the FM dial with a sweeping multi-year deal to appear on sports talk rival 95.7 “The Game.”
The Warriors announced the move Thursday morning via press release, saying veteran radio announcer Tim Roye would return for his 22nd year of Golden State play-by-play.
The Warriors’ move is the latest exchange of fire between entrenched KNBR — owned by Cumulus Media, along with six other Bay Area radio stations — and “The Game,” KGMZ-FM, owned by Entercom Communications.
Despite surging in popularity after electrifying the Bay Area with its first NBA title in 40 years, Golden State regularly found its radio broadcasts shuttled to other Cumulus stations in the Bay Area. The weak-signaled KTCT-1050 and news-focused KGO-810 broadcast portions of the 2015-16 Warriors campaign, including more than half of last season’s NBA Finals.
Warriors team president Rick Welts said in a statement:
“Under the terms of this partnership, virtually every Warriors game – including the playoffs – will be broadcast on 95.7.”
In May, KNBR signed sports talk host John Lund away from 95.7 to pair with Tom Tolbert for afternoon drive. The signing came not long after reports indicated The Game was making ratings inroads against KNBR, with Lund and Greg Papa’s early afternoon broadcast besting KNBR’s “Fitz and Brooks” show among the key male 25-54 demographic.
The Warriors’ move to FM further sharpens the Bay Area sports radio battle. For decades, the San Francisco Giants have been the jewel of KNBR’s lineup, delivering unmatchable ratings through a trio of World Series titles. In 2005, KNBR added the San Francisco 49ers to their lineup, with games also simulcast on KSAN-FM 107.7.
In addition to the Warriors, The Game also broadcasts Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders games.