I was out last week on vacation and am reporting some stuff late. But in case you missed it:
92.9/The Game, in a mutually beneficially move with Lincoln Financial, has become an Atlanta Falcons FM affiliate.
As an affiliate, the Game simulcasts whatever 790/The Zone airs regarding the Falcons and they will air both pre and post-game analysis as well. The Game aired the Falcons pre-season game this past Saturday.
Lincoln Financial owns rival 790/The Zone on the AM dial and has been airing the FM simulcast of the games on its only FM signal Star 94, a pop station. Lincoln picked up the Falcons in 2011 in what was a four-year deal. The deal is up this year and it's unlikely Lincoln will seek another deal.
Placing the Falcons on a station that normally plays Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson was never a clean fit. But for a time, it was a fair trade off since Falcons only played on Sundays and didn't eat up too much air time. The Falcons chose the station at the time because of the talent and promotional and marketing muscle 790/The Zone could provide.
But in May, Lincoln turned the Zone into all syndicated ESPN programs and dumped all local talent. This made the station far less helpful to the Falcons.
This move also highlights how important an FM signal is for any sports team in this day and age as AM fades into obsolescence. It's why when the Game appeared on a powerful FM signal in 2012, the clock began ticking on the Zone. The other sports station, 680/The Fan, at least has an FM signal at 93.7. Although it's not a great signal, it's better than nothing.
In a way, the Falcons are returning back to where they came from because 92.9 was the home for those games from 2003 through 2011. The station was rock the entire time, first as classic rock Z93, then adult alternative leaning Dave FM.
Presumably the Game will work hard to try to try to take over the Falcons broadcasts for the 2015-16 season. The station is gunning after the Fan, which runs the Braves.
The Game also took over the Hawks last year.
Its ratings lag behind those of the Fan as it nears its two-year anniversary.
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