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Terps move to ESPN 980

The battle between ESPN 980 and 106.7 The Fan took to the college turf this spring, with the two sports stations swapping college properties. Virginia Tech had already moved from 980 to The Fan, and Thursday morning Maryland and 980 announced that the Terps' new radio home will be on 980.

"It's great to be back where we belong, on ESPN 980," Maryland play-by-play voice Johnny Holliday said Thursday afternoon after the announcement. "It's a terrific partnership....The fan base you guys have, the great signal you guys have, Terrapin fans will be able to hear football and basketball and even some lacrosse and women's basketball all over the area. It's just a terrific, terrific move, and I'm very excited about it."

Not to choose sides here, but just about every time I wound up on 980 and Virginia Tech athletics were on the air, I kept it moving. Sorry, just not that interested. Terps, though, I'll tune in for.

"You talk college sports in the D.C. area, you have a lot of great schools, no question," 980's Al Galdi said. "But number 1 in terms of popularity, in terms of alumni base, unquestionably is Maryland."

Maryland's release described it as a "multi-year agreement," and said Terps games will appear "almost exclusively" on 980.

In the infrequent event of broadcast conflicts with the Redskins, Maryland Athletics and ESPN980 will aggressively promote alternate stations where the Terps will be heard in the D.C. listening area. In the first year of the new partnership, due to Red Zebra's existing broadcast contracts, there may be a limited number of additional programming conflicts during the 2010-11 men's basketball season. Maryland Athletics and ESPN980 will promote where fans can hear the Terps in the event of additional men's basketball conflicts in this transitional year as well.

Meantime, the promo announcing the Maryland move bragged that 980 is "the station that has the most sports in Washington." Not sure how to quantify that one, unless Mike & Mike counts as a sport.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 1, 2010; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Terps  
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Posted by: saltine182 | July 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

So does the National Sports Collectors convention not collect 2 major sports?

Posted by: alex35332 | July 1, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I had the same sentiment about VA Tech games. I get that they have a lot of alum in the area, but I just can't see broadcasting the games of a school 4 hours away. I'm glad to see the Terps coming to 980. Now if we can get the Nats on there instead of the Orioles....

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | July 1, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Meh. I'd prefer the regular lineup over any Terps or Tech coverage. Switched to The Fan as soon as they introduced Johnny Miller - I just don't care about UMD...or Tech.

Sad because that meant I was listening to the painful painful sounds of Holden Kushner, unFunny Danny and that chick. They're pretty awful too. I probably shouldn't say he isn't funny, I've never seen his act. However laughing maniacally at random crap on the radio? Not funny.

Posted by: tha_prophet | July 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Andy Polley is thrilled with this development. Get him talking about anything not Terps or Skins, and well...he's just talking.

Posted by: AnnandaleAnnie | July 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Finally! Even though there is a large VT alumni base in the DC metro area, football on the radio is mediocre at best and I have no attachment to that or any other local program. However, I will listen to UMD sports largely due to Johnny Holliday.

Posted by: TheOneWhoHurtsMost | July 1, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I hate ESPN 980, I would have loved to see the rights go to 106.7 The Fan. That being said, Let's go TERPS!

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | July 1, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I would prefer sports radio stations did more sports talk and less sports broadcast, particularly on college sports. It is bad enough 980 covers baseball games of an out of town team.

Put the sports events on non sports radio channels. It gives us more sports options.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | July 1, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

As long as Larry Michael doesnt push Jonny Holiday out like he did Herzog, i love this move

Posted by: jpfterps | July 1, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I have the opposite reaction -- if UMD is on I keep on moving down the dial - but if Tech is on I listen 100%. To each his own, I guess.

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | July 2, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Dan, it's interesting you write that, but I'd say I have the opposite reaction. I guess living in Virginia makes me more interested in VT. I'll listen to a VT game or talk show before a Terps show. I didn't attend either school, so don't really have a 'dog in the fight' but maybe because Tech wins more, I find myself listening to their games. Also, more people at work are apt to discuss VT sports than Maryland Terps. Just my 2-cents. Bob

Posted by: Bob-in-Reston | July 2, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I am a Virginia fan, so I don't have a lot of love for Virginia Tech, but I acknowledge they have a large fan base in the DC Metro area even though, as one poster put it they are "four hours away".

Its my view that one of the reasons DC Sports talk stations have the WORST ratings of any major US city, is they concentrate too much on covering teams in the city where they physically broadcast from and not where the SIGNAL airs to. Both Redskin owned station 980, and supposedly the anti-Redskin 106.7 focus way too much on Redskins, even in off-season, when there are other sports in town, including things like NASCAR which has a large following in the xburbs. DC being the transient town it is, I've wondered why neither station has taken advantage of that by being more diverse in the teams and sports it covers.

I bet were going to find Va Tech ratings on 106.7 will be almost as good as Maryland ratings on 980. Afterall, with its growing suburbs, 40% of what makes up the Washington, DC metro area lives on the southside of the Potomac and for many of those fans(I live in DC) Virginia Tech and Virginia are their teams of choice, not the Terps

Posted by: dccavalier | July 3, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

DC CAV- You're right. It does get old hearing about the Redskins all the time, especially in a transient town. I'll take your word on the low ratings, but you're right on target in our office space. I work in an office with about 50 or so employees who all have college degrees. I'd say over half went to Virginia Tech and have relatives that did too. That's why it's a Hokie lovefest. But we have a couple of UVA types too. One of my co-workers is married to a UVA Wahoo, so there is that element as well. But none of them has Redskins season tickets and none of them are Maryland fans. So, you're right that in Reston at least (we are part of your 40-percent below the Potomac) nobody really gives a Hoot about the Skins or the Maryland teams.

Posted by: Bob-in-Reston | July 3, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The fact that 106.7 dumped the Terps for the Hokies leads me to believe they expect better ratings carrying Virginia Tech fare the Maryland fare. I followed the Terps since the late 70's, but agree that as far as college football, this area is more in tune with Tech than Maryland and that's what butters the bread. If I was the program director, I'd done the same thing.

Posted by: joemdavis55 | July 6, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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