The announcement that the New York Yankees were moving to WFAN in 2014 was big news to the New York Mets who had called the station home since 1987. So the Mets hope to find an new radio partner and there seems to be a number of possible outlets looking to sign to them to a new deal.
The Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon told the media yesterday that “Right now we’re still negotiating with numerous parties about what we’re going to do with our radio rights.”
Wilpon said the team should select a new radio partner in about six weeks. The Mets are in talks ESPN New York Radio, at 98.7 FM and 710 WOR-AM, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications; and 770 WABC-AM. While it is very unlikely that Mets will get a ten-year, $150 million deal like the Yankees, I am sure the competition between the aforementioned stations will very intense. I would say that the true leader for the Mets rights would have to be ESPN New York. They have the cash and the talent to drive the Mets broadcasts and to offer a strong year round support for all things baseball. Neither WOR WABC (which is owned by the same parent company as ESPN) offer the Mets the promotional and programming possibilities that ESPN New York does, and that will be the winning factor in the end.
Industry sources have the rights deal the Mets presently have with WFAN at between $6 million and $7 million per year, so you can expect there to be a nice little bump in fees collected by the team from their new radio partner.
In case Mets fans were concerned, the broadcast team of Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will remain together. As to how the pre-game and post-game duties go that will depend on the Mets’ new radio partner. They will likely use some of their own talent to put their own stamp on the Mets radio broadcasts.