JMI Sports – March 9, 2015 –
Agreement with iHeartMedia provides priority positioning on flagship Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati stations as well as digital media, simulcasting.
JMI Sports and iHeart Media today announced a major agreement for an extension and expansion of their current partnership to broadcast University of Kentucky Athletics sports that will include flagship radio stations in Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati.
Specifically, the new 15-year extension and expansion of the agreement between JMI Sports and iHeartMedia radio stations for UK Athletics will include WHAS-AM and WKJK-AM in Louisville; WLAP-AM, WWTF-AM and WBUL-FM in Lexington; and WCKY-AM in Cincinnati.
The long-term agreement assures UK fans that men’s basketball and football games, pre- and post-game programs, and coaches shows will continue on the powerful WHAS-AM in the state’s largest market and will be simulcast on both AM and FM stations in UK’s home market. Women’s basketball and baseball games, as well as coaches shows, will also air in the Lexington and Louisville markets.
“It is a priority for me that we provide our fans access to game broadcasts and programming throughout the region,” said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. “This agreement assures that UK’s programming will continue to air on the stations that have the largest impact and the greatest reach.”
UK’s new multimedia rights holder JMI Sports secured the deal with iHeartMedia. “We knew from the beginning how important the relationship is between UK and its radio audience,” said Erik Judson, CEO of JMI Sports, “which is why we made this agreement a priority from day one.”
JMIS President Tom Stultz explained, “All broadcasts will be produced in iHeartMedia Lexington’s studios, giving them a distinct Kentucky feel and providing excellent local control. JMI Sports will manage all advertising inventory for the programming on the UK Sports Network, allowing us to enhance the benefits to UK’s sponsors and partners.”
JMI Sports’ Kim Ramsay, VP-Client Services & Operations, worked closely with iHeartMedia’s Regional President Bill Gentry in negotiating the contract. “Our powerhouse radio stations have enjoyed a long and mutually-beneficial relationship with UK Athletics and we are excited that they have once again chosen our stations to serve as flagships for their highly rated broadcasts,” said Gentry.
The new agreement calls for the extension of pre-game shows for football and men’s basketball from 90 minutes to 2 hours. iHeartMedia stations will also air promotional messages for UK Athletics and the University of Kentucky throughout the year. All programming is now available on iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one music streaming and digital radio service.
The UK Sports Network is one of the largest collegiate radio networks in the nation, with more than 60 network affiliates, including two 50,000-watt powerhouse AM stations. WLAP-AM in Lexington has been UK’s flagship station since 2000, and UK’s broadcasts have held the priority clearance position on WHAS-AM in Louisville since 2004.