ESPN Radio, WEEI Announce Affiliation Agreement

WEEI and ESPN Radio have announced an affiliation agreement this afternoon. The agreement brings overnight and weekend national programming to WEEI, and allows them access to ESPN personalities such as Peter Gammons and Adam Schefter.

The affiliation will also bring a variety of play by play programming, such as the Major League Baseball playoffs, the NBA and NBA playoffs, and the College Bowl Championship Series. The MLB playoff programming will start this week. (No Mike Adams? What a shame.) 

Beginning on November 2, 2009, WEEI will syndicate ESPN’s overnight programming including AllNight with Jason Smith (1-5 a.m. ET Monday through Friday), as well as select weekend programming in and around its local coverage.

As part of the agreement with WEEI, Adam Schefter, ESPN’s NFL Insider, will join Dennis and Callahan every Friday during the NFL Season beginning this week, and Peter Gammons, ESPN’s veteran Major League Baseball insider, will join The Big Show with Glenn Ordway every week during the upcoming baseball playoffs and once a week next season.

Other ESPN personalities will also be joining WEEI shows on a regular basis, throughout the week and the weekend.

This announcement today could eventually lead to WEEI moving to an FM station and ESPN Radio national programming taking over the 850 AM signal full-time.

Keep checking back here on BSMW for the latest…

  • Guntfather of Sports Radio

    Will they carry playoff games at anytime or will be subjected to Adams?

  • Guntfather of Sports Radio

    I suspect you’ll be getting a ‘mother’s basement’ comment.

  • BigTicket

    Like him or not no more JT the Brick on EEi after what 10-12 years of him on the station? Not sure about Ben Maller on weekends but hopefully he stays.

  • Rick Mc

    I welcome the use of ESPN Radio shows, but I will hate having to listen to WEEI to hear Gammons or Schefter. I hope it doesn’t help them out in the ratings and that 98.5 suffers.

    I think the first full month of public ratings for 98.5 are due out tomorrow.

  • ben

    As listeners to sports radio we are already seeing the benefits of competition. Not sure Jason Smith is much better than JT the Brick (different strokes) but the weekend programming is so far ahead of ‘EEI. Looking forward to John Dennis nemesis Russillo coming over the ‘EEI airwaves on Gameday.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Should know better than to channel surf over to WEEI during the D&C show…..stopped there for just a second the other day and what’s the first thing I hear?…Callahan blabbering on about what a bunch of “sycophants” Red Sox fans are because they cheer Big Papi……UGH…..some things never change……well, he wasn’t talking about Manny,so I guess that’s a plus.

    • Classless

      Well, Ortiz is a cheater that the public politely forgot about.

  • Siggy

    Why would I listen to the Big Show on FM if I don’t listen on AM? And why would you give up your brand 850 to ESPN? Must make business sense I guess…

    The Felger/Mazz show has just killed EEI lately. Passion, energy, opinionated, quick..when I switch over during a commercial and hear the guffawing of Four Fat Men I know I am missing absolutely nothing there. The biggest surprise is Mazz – he’s better when away from the bad influences on the AM band. Felger is just flat out the best talent on sports radio in Boston.

    • Lance

      “Felger is just flat out the best talent on sports radio in Boston.”

      Yeah, right. Even if he is that’s like pointing to a pig sty and letting people know which pig is the sexiest.

  • callah

    smart move on espn, all the sport flashes before this agreement were recited off the espn website.might as well get paid for it.

  • Chris

    This is the same WEEI that ‘wasn’t concerned’ about 98.5, right? Just checking.

  • Jon

    Great point Chris. Not sure how many gamblers we have on this site, but when Foxwoods opened, the world rejoiced that we finally had a casino in New England. Yeah, it was a casino, but it was a dump that was built with no imagination and because they owned the market, the Pequots never had to invest in the property. That is, until Mohegan Sun came along and all of a sudden, Foxwoods can’t renovate fast enough.

    The same can be said for WEEI. Because they pretty much owned the market, they could continue to a stable of talent that people didn’t particularly enjoy, but were forced to listen to because WEEI was the only serious game in town. All of a sudden, now that 98.5 is up and running, it is WEEI that can’t renovate fast enough. Their tactics – the Sox off of WRKO, the likely move to FM, commercial breaks that don’t last longer than the average sitcom – should have been implemented a long time ago. It just goes to show you that they never truly cared about their listeners…until they were forced to.

    • Jason Coyote

      Couldn’t have said it any better, Jon. I’m curious as to whether this seemingly temporary radio relationship (temporary until ESPN Radio gets their own signal) will have any affect on the battle of the ESPNBoston and WEEI websites, who compete for eyes and clicks the way the stations compete for listeners.

  • Tiki

    They really should flip it and give us ESPN at night then have Mikey do the overnight when he’s only a threat to the fringe element anyway. Amazing what they are donig to marginalize that guy – and I for one salute it.

    • JayCee

      Adams’ fall from grace has certainly been swift & steep. Did something happen behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

    • mandb97

      Tiki, be careful what you wish for. Although I like D.A. more than Adams, the night talent at ESPN is dreadful. Usually on is Freddy “marbles in my mouth” Coleman and the insufferable John Seibel is one of the worst on-air talents today.

  • raccoonradio

    WRKO site says Celts games on Fri night (7:25) and Sun afternoon (1) will be on RKO instead of EEI

  • Sports Entertainment Services

    ESPN to 850? What would Entercom do that? WEEI has put so much into WEEI.com, why would they give their competition (ESPNBoston.com) an outlet where sports listeners have been programmed to go for 15 years?

    • Jason Coyote

      Because I’m sure they’ll work out some type of agreement where the ESPN station has no local programming in morning or afternoon drive. Plus EEI will have another station to put BC football/basketball on as well as any Celtics games that conflict with the Sox on EEI.

  • JayCee

    Didn’t Gammons indirectly refer to ‘EEI as “Angry White Radio” during one of his appearences on Felger’s old afternoon show? Not so angry after all, I guess.

    And what about all the ballyhoo about the Globe columnists being allowed to return to ‘EEI? Granted, I don’t listen every day, but I haven’t heard Ryan since his first appearence with Ordway a few months ago. With the Shank now a regular on 98.5, I don’t imagine we’ll be hearing him either. Much ado about nothing?

  • Steve

    Can’t we get Mika and Mike in the AM and dump the insufferable D&C.
    Better listening and infinitely more entertaining.

  • Scott

    Love Gammons, love Schefter. I’ll miss Big Ben overnights on the weekend. At least we won’t have to suffer listening to Tom Looney! (Never listened to a wannabe that felt so highly of himself like Looney, good riddance!)