If you mute your television each week so you can hear Merrill Reese and Mike Quick call Eagles games on SportsRadio 94.1 WIP, then I have an early Christmas gift for you.
The Eagles and Entercom Communications, the new owner of WIP, have agreed to a seven-year deal that will extend the broadcast rights for Eagles games through the 2024 season. Financial terms were not revealed.
“It is with the great pleasure and pride that I announce, with [Eagles president Don Smolenski] by my side, that WIP will be the home of the Philadelphia Eagles for another seven years,” Entercom CEO David Field announced on the WIP Morning Show on Tuesday.
“Don, seven more years with us! What were you thinking?” joked morning show host Angelo Cataldi, who revealed that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had sent him a note while Cataldi was recovering from gallbladder surgery that read, “I’ve always wished you the pain that you’re currently enduring.”
The agreement means fan favorites Reese and Quick will continue to call the Birds’ preseason, regular-season and postseason games for WIP and 11 other stations that carry the Eagles Radio Network. Longtime WIP host Howard Eskin will also continue his role as Eagles sideline reporter.
Eagles games have aired on WIP and various CBS Radio stations since 1992. The 74-year-old Reese has been the voice of the Eagles since 1977, and is the longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in the NFL.
“I’d rather broadcast an Eagles game than any single thing I do in the world,” Reese told my colleague Zach Berman last year after he was enshrined in the Eagles Hall of Fame. “I just love it so much.”
Reese’s calls are so popular with Eagles fans that they often are shared widely on social media. After the Eagles’ crushing 37-9 win over the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, Birds fans delighted in hearing how Reese handled calling all four of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s turnovers.
— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) November 20, 2017
Back in September, 97.5 The Fanatic announced a new multi-year deal to broadcast all 76ers games, bringing back play-by-play announcer Tom McGinnis for his 23rd season. The Fanatic also owns the broadcast rights to Flyers games, and WIP signed a new deal with the Phillies before last season.
Entercom closed on its merger with CBS Radio Inc. last week, making the Bala Cynwyd-based company the nation’s No. 2 radio operator with 244 radio stations in 47 markets. Entercom has said it will cut about $100 million in costs, but CEO David Field said “we will not take one cent away from the quality of the listener experience or the value we provide to advertisers.”
In addition to WIP, Entercom owns KYW NewsRadio 1060, Today’s 96.5, 92.5 XTU, 1210 AM WPHT, and 98.1 WOGL in Philadelphia.