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Clear Channel retains UND's broadcast rights

UND has picked up a one-year option to renew its radio rights with Clear Channel in Grand Forks. That means all football, men's hockey and men's and women's basketball games will be carried on the same stations as last year. Clear Channel also wi...

UND has picked up a one-year option to renew its radio rights with Clear Channel in Grand Forks.

That means all football, men's hockey and men's and women's basketball games will be carried on the same stations as last year.

Clear Channel also will broadcast home women's hockey games.

The 2008-09 season will be the final year of the current contract. Radio rights will be up for bids next summer.

One future possibility for UND is bringing control of broadcasts in-house and buying air time as North Dakota State has done. But UND athletic director Brian Faison said there haven't been any discussions on the subject.

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"Could happen," he said. "I haven't had time to worry about that right now, though.

"It was clear that (Clear Channel) had done a good job with our coverage in the past. We liked the setup, and they had the sports coverage we needed."

This will be the eighth year that Clear Channel has held radio rights for UND athletics. The last contract was signed before the 2006-07 year. It was for two years with an option year.

"I will say our eight years have been very good," Clear Channel general manager Pat McLean said. "The university did a beautiful job helping us with our travel last year. Both we and the university made some concessions and it worked out well."

Travel could be an expensive issue for Clear Channel this year.

In the past, almost every football and men's and women's basketball road game was within driving distance. This year, UND's first in Division I, nearly every road trip requires an airplane flight, which will significantly raise costs.

"We're all kind of in limbo right now -- we're not sure what this move to Division I is going to mean," said McLean, who added that Faison has been very helpful.

Familiar voices

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All five sports will have the same play-by-play announcers.

Dan Hammer will call Sioux football games, Tim Hennessy men's hockey, Scott Swygman men's basketball, Paul Ralston women's basketball and Darrin Looker women's hockey.

There will be a change in the football broadcast team.

Former Grand Forks Central coach Mike Berg will be the color commentator and former UND defensive back Kelly Howe will be the sideline reporter. Tony Stein and Tank McNamara held those positions last year.

Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to bschlossman@gfherald.com .

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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