The Golden State Warriors announced this morning that they have re-upped their deal with KNBR, which will remain the team’s flagship radio station. Here’s the press release from the club:


KNBR 680 To Continue As Flagship Radio Station, Marking Team’s 37th Season On “The Sports Leader”

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors have signed a multi-year contract extension with their flagship radio station, KNBR 680, the team announced today. The 2012-13 NBA campaign will mark the Warriors’ 29th consecutive season on “The Sports Leader” and the 37th year on KNBR overall. As part of the contract, KNBR 680 will serve as the flagship station for all Warriors radio broadcasts through the 2015-16 NBA season.

“We are really excited to continue on our long-standing partnership with KNBR,” said Warriors President & COO Rick Welts. “This new agreement will enable the Warriors and KNBR to enter our fourth decade together during a period of time that is very compelling for our fans and our entire organization for a number of reasons, including, most importantly, the product on the floor. We’re eager to venture down this road with The Sports Leader.”

The Warriors began their affiliation with KNBR during the 1976-77 season and, with the exception of the 1983-84 campaign, have been carried by the Bay Area station since that time.

Under terms of the new agreement, KNBR 680 will broadcast all 82 regular-season contests each season – including the addition of games in the Midwest and Eastern time zones – with the exception of a minimal number of games to be broadcast on KNBR 1050. A minimum of four preseason games will also be broadcast each year, as well as all playoff games. Additionally, the team’s pre-game show has been expanded and will now run for 30 minutes leading-up to the station’s game broadcasts. KNBR 680 will also continue to air the Warriors Weekly Radio Show and the Mark Jackson Show once a week throughout the NBA season.

Tim Roye, who is entering his 18th season as the voice of Warriors radio, will once again handle radio play-by-play duties during the 2012-13 NBA campaign.

“Under the ownership group headed by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the Warriors are a franchise on the rise,” said Cumulus San Francisco VP/Market Manager Bill Bungeroth. “KNBR is proud to continue our 36 year partnership with the Warriors, and as a sign of our commitment, we’re increasing our Warriors programming to the fans throughout Northern California.”

A few interesting things in this release:

1. This arrangement only lasts through 2016, around the same time the Warriors hope to move into a new arena in downtown San Francisco. The Warriors may be hoping that the added buzz from a potential move gives the team more leverage in the next round of negotiations.

2. Buried in the middle of the fourth paragraph is this line: “with the exception of a minimal number of games to be broadcast on KNBR 1050.” What does “a minimal number” mean? Fewer than before?

3. Not surprisingly, Roye stays on as the lead play-by-play guy (as he should). No mention of Bob Fitzgerald’s relationship with the team and/or his current arrangement with KNBR, but one has to figure he’s sticking around from noon-to-3.

This isn’t mentioned in the release, but 95.7 “The Game” was unsuccessful in its bid to lure the Warriors away from KNBR. Then again, we don’t really know if the Warriors ever seriously considered moving due to the reasons I laid out when it was announced that Ric Bucher was joining Brandon Tierney on “The Drive.”:

Does this mean the Warriors will follow Steinmetz and Bucher, leaving KNBR behind in the process? 

I’m still not totally buying it. There’s certainly a chance the Warriors could move to The Game, and they’re probably tempted by the idea of a station propping up the Warriors as their No. 1 programming priority.

HOWEVER, 95.7 still has some issues to iron out in terms of signal strength. Plus, even though KNBR has shuffled several Warriors games off to 1050 over the years, quite a few have been carried on 680 —a far better lead-in than The Game could provide, at least for the foreseeable future. Changing flagship stations would mean the Warriors would go from serving as a bit player to anchoring the daily lineup.