WSU to 710 ESPN

In an unsurprising move, 710 ESPN and WSU announced that WSU football and men’s basketball games will be broadcast on the station beginning this fall.  Those sports move over from 770 KTTH, which will continue to host those sports whenever there’s a conflict with the Seahawks or Mariners.  Both stations are owned by Bonneville Media.  This is unsurprising for two reasons.  First, since Bill Moos took over as athletic director at WSU, the school’s athletic profile has risen on the westside of the mountains.  That’s especially true since the hiring of Mike Leach.  Secondly, there’s been a more noticeable WSU presence on 710 recently (beyond station employees that are alums), whether interviewing athletic department employees or just discussing the school.  One can conclude that this has been part of Moos’s strategy since taking over the department.

When 710 ESPN first went to the all sports format, their primary selling point was that they were the home to Seattle’s professional teams (the Sounders are on another Bonneville station, 97.3 KIRO FM).  They later added Seattle U basketball.  So far, it’s unclear whether that continues to be part of the programming or not.  The station has not indicated one way or another.  It’s inevitable that some SU and WSU basketball games will overlap.  Additionally, the station occasionally broadcasts Thunderbirds games as well.   Rival station 950 KJR’s main calling card is as the home of UW athletics.  So, this WSU-710 partnership adds a little more to the station rivalry.  Having decided that there’s no room for the Sounders on 710, the station will now have a challenge ahead if they do have the opportunity to offer additional local team programming in the future.  That window to offer more programming remains larger for KJR.

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