The Times West Virginian

July 27, 2013

WVU network begins with Fairmont stations, increases game-day time


Times West Virginian

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — As IMG Audio locks in affiliates to its 2,200-station national network, WRLF-FM/WTCS-AM in Fairmont have signed onto the new Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG.

The Fantasia Broadcasting station duo, a long-standing partner with West Virginia University sports, will benefit from four extra hours of game-day radio programming.

“WVU is an important part of our business, and our history,” said Nick Fantasia, owner Fantasia Broadcasting. “WTCS was part of the original group of WVU network stations connected by phone line in the early 1950s, and we have aired WVU sports ever since.

“Having worked with IMG for Marshall and Notre Dame broadcasts, I am confident that the broadcast quality and talent level we expect for the WVU game broadcasts will continue. While people and technology may change, the passion for WVU Sports remains the constant. That’s why the listeners and the advertisers return each season. It has been our experience that IMG gets that, too. Let’s bring on the Mountaineers.”

WRLF-FM/WTCS-AM will carry Mountaineers football and men’s basketball, along with their respective coaches’ shows and a daily report.

The two Fairmont stations join WMTD-FM, also known as ESPN Radio 102.3 The Ticket in Hinton) as the first three stations on the new network.

“ESPN Radio 102.3 The Ticket is pleased to present another year of Mountaineer sports to southern West Virginia in association with IMG,” said Shane Southern, owner of WMTD-FM. “Mountaineers fans are raring to go and so are we as kickoff approaches.”

ESPN Radio 102.3, which began its partnership with WVU in 2011, will carry Mountaineers football and men’s basketball, along with their respective coaches’ shows and a daily report.

West Virginia University and IMG College recently formed a broad 12-year multimedia rights and sponsorship partnership which includes exclusive representation and management of game broadcasts and coaches’ shows on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG beginning in the 2013-14 season.

The radio network plans to eventually add four hours of pre- and post-game coverage commensurate with a program of West Virginia’s scope and appeal. Pregame shows will expand from one hour to 3.5 hours and postgame shows to two hours from 30 minutes. Details on the play-by-play and color commentary team will be announced in the future.

“It’s great to welcome Fantasia Broadcasting, which has such deep roots in Mountaineers football, to our network and the IMG family,” said Chris Ferris, vice president of the Audio Division for IMG College. “The loyalty Nick Fantasia and his stations have exhibited truly mirrors the avid fan base of West Virginia University sports. Fantasia and WVU can expect a game day broadcast commensurate to the school’s tradition, success, conference standing and fan base,” Ferris said.