Bob Smizik reported Friday night that The University of Pittsburgh is ready to move its athletic broadcasting rights to KDKA-FM (93.7). It’s the result of several months of negotiations with as many as three radio stations. The move has not been finalized, but should be by the end of the week, Smizik says. Pitt football and basketball have both been carried by the Clear Channel stations of late – most recently WWSW (94.5). In fact, until this move, Clear Channel held the rights to every major sports team in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are carried on WDVE (102.5), the Penguins on WXDX (105.9) and the Pirates on WPGB (104.7). The Penguins recently renewed their contract, but it’s expected that competition between CBS Radio and Clear Channel could become fierce as the Steelers and Pirates contracts come up for renewal in the next few years. The move also gives Pitt more attention not having to compete with the pro-sports teams.
Bill Hillgrove is expected to continue his long-time role as the announcer for football and men’s basketball. It is also possible that John Seibel (of The Fan’s “Seibel and Starkey”) will have a roll in the Pitt broadcasts – perhaps along the sidelines.
The move is expected to open up space for Duquesne University and West Virginia University which are likely to be heard on WPGB and WBGG (970) respectively next season.