Photo courtesy of WEEI.com
It appears that Boston Celtics games will have a new home next season. Entercom Communications, whose WEEI and WRKO radio stations have broadcasted Celtics games since 2005, will no longer broadcast the team’s games beginning in the 2013-14 season.
"WEEI has had an incredible run with the Boston Celtics, from being a part of their 17th championship banner to the end of the [new] Big 3 era," said Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Jeff Brown in a statement.
"Unfortunately we were unable to come to terms on a new contract moving forward. We thank the entire Celtics organization for our tremendous time together and wish them the best of luck in the future."
The Celtics did confirm the announcement from Entercom, but a statement was not offered.
It is not clear at this time what station will broadcast the teams’ games, however an announcement is expected soon. One of the potential suitors is Greater Media which currently owns five stations in the Boston market and has expressed interest in Celtics broadcasts previously.
The broadcast team will remain the same with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell providing commentary, a role they have filled since 2001-02. They are hired by the team rather than the station that broadcasts the games.
Since 2005-06, an Entercom-owned station has been the go-to station for Celtics’ broadcasts, with a revenue-sharing agreement in the deal between the company and the Celtics since the deal came to fruition in June 2005. It is uncertain whether a rights agreement was involved in the deal.
The Celtics spent two seasons at WRKO (680) before making the transition to WEEI (then at the 850-AM signal, and now currently at 93.7-FM) before the 2007-2008 season. Prior to that, the team’s games could be found on WRKO from 1981-87 and then again in 1995-96.
In a city where media is prevalent and sports are king, this will change the landscape of Boston sports radio as we know it.