WPTV and ESPN 760 team up for enhanced TV sports coverage
Fri, December 04, 2009 by Tim King
WPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach that has been the market's ratings leader for more than 50 consecutive years, has formed an innovative partnership with the market's exclusive sports radio station, ESPN 760 (AM), that both organizations believe will raise the profile of local sports in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast to an unprecedented level.
Under this long-term agreement, WPTV will tap the local sports expertise of the ESPN 760 sports team, utilizing its on-air personalities to become the faces of sports coverage on NewsChannel 5. The new arrangement extends and deepens a relationship between the broadcasters that began in 2003. For the past six years, ESPN 760 personalities have appeared frequently as contributors to various WPTV sports programs.
"This long-term partnership benefits our station by giving us access to a 24-hour sports-focused operation that is affiliated with ESPN, and I think ESPN 760 benefits from the added reach and audience we provide," said Steve Wasserman, WPTV's vice president and general manager. "But the real winners are the sports fans from Sebastian to Boca Raton who now have an unparalleled source of sports information through the powerful combination of the region's top-rated television station and the area's unrivaled leader in sports radio programming. It's refreshing during challenging economic times like this to make a decision motivated not by the desire to cut costs but instead by the ability to enter a partnership from a position of strength and deliver a more compelling product to viewers and advertisers."
Starting January 1, 2010, ESPN 760 will provide extensive sports coverage to WPTV's NewsChannel 5, including local sports features at 6 p.m. and a nightly sports wrap-up at 11 p.m. ESPN 760 will produce "Braman 5 Sports Live," the 15-minute sports show seen every Sunday after WPTV's 11 p.m. newscast.
Evan Cohen, ESPN 760's popular sports talk show host, will anchor "Braman 5 Sports Live" and lead the on-air effort weeknights for WPTV. Former Florida Atlantic University defensive lineman and current ESPN 760 host/reporter, Jason Pugh, will anchor the sports segments on Fridays and the weekends. ESPN 760 producer/reporter Herb Uzzi will serve as producer/reporter for the sportscasts on WPTV, and Cohen and Pugh will provide insights and commentary on http://www.wptv.com/.
"This is a bold and exciting development for local sports coverage, and there aren't two better resources to make it happen than ESPN 760 and WPTV," said Steve Politziner, ESPN 760's vice president and general manager. "Great things can happen when two media companies at the top of their game join forces. ESPN 760 brings great assets to channel 5's newscast, and we're thrilled to have our brand extended through the reach of the area's most-trusted news operation."
WPTV, an NBC affiliate since signing on more than 50 years ago, offers more locally produced programming than its competitors. Its early evening newscasts attract more viewers than competing network affiliates combined. Its corporate parent, The E.W. Scripps Company, is a diverse media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information Web sites, and licensing and syndication.
About ESPN 760ESPN 760, which has been the Palm Beaches' and Treasure Coast's sports station for more than six years, features the biggest local and national names in sports talk along with live play-by-play broadcasts of top professional, collegiate and high school athletics. ESPN 760 is owned by Good Karma Broadcasting, a sports marketing company, which owns and operates 11 radio stations and associated Web sites.