Bucs Love iHeart: Multi-Year Pact Set For NFL Franchise


The Tampa-St. Petersburg station group owned by the No. 1 owner of radio stations in the U.S. by station count has just scored a touchdown all of its own.

That’s because its scored an extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise that includes a shift of the team’s games to iHeart’s Rock station in the market.

The football team’s Buccaneers Radio Network has been affiliated with iHeart since 2004. Games previously aired on Country WFUS-FM 103.5 and Sports Talk WDAE-AM 620.

Starting with the 2017 NFL season, Bucs games will shift to WXTB-FM 97.9 “98Rock.”

“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing radio partnership with iHeartMedia Tampa Bay,” said Buccaneers COO Brian Ford. “One of the most exciting aspects of this partnership is the ability to consolidate all of our gameday programming on 98Rock. Our fans will now be able to listen to the pre-game shows, the game broadcast and the post-game shows all on 98Rock’s strong FM signal.”

For the first time in the team’s history, game days will feature 7 1/2 hours of Buccaneers programming completely on the FM dial, including pre- and post-game shows bookending the action on the field.

However, weekly head coach and player radio shows will continue to be broadcast on WDAE.

“We are very proud to continue our partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” said Sam Nein, President of iHeartMedia Tampa Bay. “98Rock’s music programming in addition to pre- and post-game shows and live Buccaneer game action on Sundays will make for very compelling radio.”

Beloved play-by-play announcer Gene Deckerhoff — also the voice of the Florida State University Seminoles football team — will once again handle the play-by-play duties for the 29th consecutive season. He will again partner with former Buccaneers tight end Dave Moore, working his 11th season as the team’s color analyst. T.J. Rives will serve as the sideline reporter for the 13th consecutive year.