Caps, Bonneville Agree On Two-Year Radio Deal

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Washington Capitals have reached a two-year agreement with Bonneville International Corp. to broadcast all 82 of the team's games beginning next season.

The Capitals' flagship station will be the new Talk Radio 3WT, which will replace Washington Post Radio on 107.7 FM, 820 AM and 1500 AM. It boasts one of the region's most powerful signals.

Talk Radio 3WT, set to debut on Sept. 20, also will carry Washington Nationals, George Washington men's basketball and Navy football games.

Play-by-play for the Capitals will be handled by Steve Kolbe, who returns for his 11th season. Ken Sabourin, meantime, will be back for his fifth season as an analyst at home games.

Last season, the team's radio broadcasts were split between WTEM (980 AM) and WTNT (570 AM). Because the Washington Wizards had priority on 980, 38 Capitals games were bumped to 570, which has a weaker signal.

The Capitals' agreement with Bonneville puts nearly all of the team's regular season games on Talk Radio 3WT, Bonneville D.C. senior vice president Joel Oxley said. The only exception will be when there are conflicts between the Capitals and Nationals in the spring. If and when conflicts occur, the Capitals will get bumped to WFED (1050 AM), Oxley said.

The Capitals have three games scheduled in April; the Nationals, meantime, have not completed negotiations on an extension with Bonneville and the team's schedule has not been released.

The new deal also includes a one-hour Capitals magazine show on Saturday nights at 6 p.m., 10-minute pregame and 30-minute postgame shows, as well as promotional elements. The team hopes to name a host for the weekly pregame and postgame programs soon.

The switch actually marks a return to their roots for the Capitals, whose games were broadcast on 1500 AM from 1974-75, the team's inaugural season, through the late 1980s.

-- Tarik El-Bashir

© 2007 The Washington Post Company