ESPN is heading east… again

The WLIR 107.1/ESPN Logo used from January 200...
The WLIR 107.1/ESPN Logo used from January 2008 thru July 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember when ESPN radio was on 107.1 FM a few years ago?  It’s coming back:

Newsday reports that “ESPN New York” 98.7 WEPN-FM New York will add a partial simulcast on 107.1 WLIR-FM Hampton Bays and 96.9 W245BA Manorville, NY next week.

Next Monday, Champions Radio will be heard on 107.1 FM in Hampton Bays in addition to 96.9 FM in Manorville.  This is good news for sports fans on the east end who haven’t been able to listen to ESPN after they moved from 1050 AM to 98.7 FM.  If ESPN plays their cards right, Yankee baseball could be broadcast on FM from one end of the island to the other.

Hope Radio, the current occupant of 107.1 FM, will either find another FM outlet or continue as an internet-only radio station.

Will WFAN do something similar with their FM signal?  Only time will tell…

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Um, play ball?

Well… here’s an interesting development.

YankeeCaps
YankeeCaps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Yankees baseball may be broadcast on FM next season.  However, it was not known which station would carry the games:

No word, yet, on which FM channel ESPN is close to signing on with, but a source claims that one of its options last July, renamed WEMP 101.9 (from WRXP), is no longer in the picture.

Of course, the next logical choice after 101.9 FM (which ESPN has had their eye on in the past, until Merlin made it all news) would be 94.7 FM, which is currently for sale.  Now, Newsday’s Neil Best tweeted:

ESPN Radio is moving to 98.7 FM in New York, the long-time home of R&B station KISS-FM.

Holey moley!  I didn’t see this one coming.  However, when you think about it, maybe it’s what Emmis had been planning after Merlin purchased 101.9.  Emmis currently owns 98.7 FM, but could a sale to ESPN be in the future?  Is Emmis looking to sell all of their NYC radio stations?  If ESPN wants to get the Yankees on 98.7 FM next season, they need to do some wheeling and dealing right now, as the Yankees games are currently broadcast on WCBS-AM (880).  CBS Radio also owns WFAN-AM (660), the big kahuna when it comes to New York sports, and the current home of Mets baseball.  Could they put The Fan on FM, and make an aggressive move to grab the Yankees away from ESPN?  You bet your Louisville Slugger, they could.

ESPN radio makes its move to FM this Sunday, April 30th.  However, the R&B programming that has been on KISS-FM for decades is not fading away.  KISS-FM and WBLS are forming a partnership, and the R&B on 98.7 FM will be merging with 107.5 FM.