The Dolphins are shopping their radio rights, and WQAM-560 has emerged as a serious challenger to WINZ-940/ WBGG-105.9 FM, whose six-year deal is expiring, according to industry sources.
Meanwhile, 790 The Ticket also has been asked to bid on Dolphins rights and hasn’t ruled it out but instead has been focusing on retaining the Miami Heat’s radio rights. The station and the team are closing in on an agreement to extend their deal beyond this season.
The Dolphins sent several local stations a proposal making clear it’s seeking a substantial rights fee. As perspective, the Steelers receive nearly $6 million per season for their radio rights, and Pittsburgh is a smaller market than Miami-Fort Lauderdale.
The Dolphins also would like for the games to continue airing on both AM and FM.
Under terms of the expiring contract, iHeart Media (which owns WINZ and WBGG) allows the Dolphins to keep a large chunk of the ad revenue and not only carries games but also airs a three-hour weekday afternoon Dolphins talk show, which has considerable promotional value for the team. (Two hours are simulcast on Fox Sports Florida.)
WQAM previously relinquished rights because the station was losing a bundle, according to a former station executive. But WQAM has changed ownership since then, from Beasley to CBS, and CBS has serious interest in landing the rights.
Incidentally, the Dolphins choose their radio announcers, with input from the station. So while Joe Rose would remain in place whether games stay on iHeart or move to CBS, it’s unclear what would happen to Jimmy Cefalo and Bob Griese.
Though Nielsen doesn’t release radio ratings, one local executive said Dolphins rights provide bigger ratings value for iHeart’s FM carrier than its AM carrier.
WQAM and The Ticket declined to comment.
To read more visit the Miami Herald where this article was originally published