The Edmond Sun

July 19, 2013

Thunder, Sports Animal renew partnership; WWLS-FM to remain flagship station of Thunder Radio Network


Special to The Sun

OKLA. CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder and Cumulus Media have signed a multi-year agreement that allows WWLS 98.1 FM (The Sports Animal) in Oklahoma City to continue as the flagship radio station of the Oklahoma City Thunder Radio Network, the Thunder and Cumulus announced. As they have been since 2008, all Thunder preseason, regular-season and postseason games will be carried live on The Sports Animal.

All Thunder games also will be broadcast on The Sports Animal’s sister station KWPN-ESPN Radio 640 AM, in addition to a dozen other stations across the state and region that make up the Thunder Radio Network. Veteran NBA broadcaster Matt Pinto will return for his sixth season as the radio play-by-play voice of the Thunder.

“We are proud and excited to continue our strong relationship with Cumulus and The Sports Animal,” said Thunder Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations Dan Mahoney. “They are the leaders in sports radio in Oklahoma, with passion and excitement for Thunder basketball.” 

“When Cumulus Media acquired these stations back in 2011, our then pre-existing Thunder alliance was one of the first things the company identified as most exciting.

Consequently, the extension of our Thunder relationship was enthusiastically supported, especially when considering the partnership’s significant impacts on both listenership and advertising revenues, not to mention the thrill provided to our employees from being associated with a brand recognized worldwide,” said Cumulus Media Market Manager Larry Bastida.

Beginning this season, Pinto will host a weekly call-in Thunder talk show and the station will provide a live stream of Thunder games via its website thesportsanimal.com. That stream will be limited to a 75-mile radius around Oklahoma City.

Thunder coverage on The Sports Animal also includes daily reports from Thunder practices, player interviews and regular on-air appearances by Pinto and the team’s FOX Sports Oklahoma TV broadcast team of Brian Davis and Grant Long.

Live Spanish-language broadcasts of Thunder home games will continue on Cumulus station WKY 930 AM (La Indomable) in Oklahoma City. Veteran broadcaster Eleno Ornelas will return to provide play-by-play. Ornelas also serves as the Spanish-language announcer for the Texas Rangers.