Published on Thursday, 15 March 2012 14:02
Chicago's southside MLB team, the Chicago White Sox, announced today that it is partnering with 97.5 ESPN Deportes. The new low-powered radio station will now carry Spanish-language broadcasts of all 162 regular season Chicago White Sox games.
The entire regular season for the Chicago White Sox will be heard in Spanish within the city of Chicago, beginning with the first game of the season, Friday, April 6th, when the Sox travel to Dallas to take on the Texas Rangers. Both home games from U.S. Cellular Field and away games will be broadcast live.
The Chicago White Sox discussing having their games broadcast on ESPN Deportes was first exclusively reported on this website back in January
(as well as in February
and earlier this month
). Originally, the club was looking at only doing a handful of games in Spanish, as they have done in years past. Instead, for the first time in many years, the entire regular season will be broadcast in Spanish instead.
Brooks Boyer, White Sox Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, said in today's announcement: "For decades, Spanish radio broadcasts of games have been an important part of the White Sox baseball experience. The Latino community is a vital part of the White Sox fan base, as hundreds of thousands of passionate Latino fans visit U.S. Cellular Field every season. We are thrilled to team up with 97.5 FM ESPN Deportes to bring a full season of White Sox baseball in Spanish to Latinos across Chicagoland and continue the strong tradition and relationship with the community."
Ricardo Otero, Program Director of WNUA-FM and WNUA-HD2/W248BB, said today: "97.5 ESPN Deportes is committed to providing a variety of programming for our listeners and we are happy to include White Sox coverage as part of our broadcasts. We are thrilled to embrace and support the Chicago White Sox and share the excitement of the game with our listeners."
No broadcast team has yet been announced for these radio broadcasts.
Previously, the Chicago White Sox aired some, but not all, regular season games on Univision Radio's WRTO-AM/La Tremenda AM 1200. However, the Chicago White Sox ownership has long been looking at FM radio outlets for its club's broadcasts (both English and Spanish) and the new Chicago ESPN Deportes station was a very attractive opportunity for them.
This marks the second time this month that 97.5 ESPN Deportes has announced a deal to broadcast a local sports team on its airwaves. On March 6th
, it was announced that the Chicago Fire had partnered with the radio station to carry Spanish-language broadcasts of all 34 of its regular season games, as well as a local weekly soccer program.
ESPN Deportes Chicago, which recently launched on February 1st
, is heard on the radio on 97.5 FM via radio translator W248BB and on HD Radio on WNUA-HD2. The programming also streams online at ESPNDeportesChicago.com
, as well as the iHeartRadio app.
Clear Channel Radio Chicago, which is already maxed out on the number of radio stations it can have in Chicago according to federal regulations, gained the use of the translator W248BB to use as yet another commercial radio station, that isn't counted as a radio station legally, by putting together an agreement to use the transmission with EMF Broadcasting, the translator's owner. Clear Channel then made a deal with ESPN to allow the use of W248BB for ESPN Deportes broadcasts.
The 250 watt signal of translator W248BB, located from atop downtown Chicago's third tallest skyscraper, the Aon Center, reaches all of the city of Chicago and the communities that immediately border it. It does travel somewhat into the suburbs, but is not very strong or easy to hear the farther away from Chicago one travels (depending on weather conditions).
Also on February 1st, ESPN Deportes debuted on WKRS-AM 1220
in the northern suburbs. It should be pointed out that as of now, the Chicago White Sox broadcasts, as well as the Chicago Fire broadcasts, will NOT
be heard on AM 1220 in Lake County -- only on 97.5 FM in Chicago.