CHESTER, Pa. (February 21, 2023) – Philadelphia Union today announced a new partnership agreement with 97.5 The Fanatic, a leading sports radio station in the Philadelphia area, making them the Official Radio Broadcast Partner of the Philadelphia Union. Union matches will be broadcast on 97.5 The Fanatic, 97.5 The Fanatic app and website. For any matches that conflict with other station partner games, Union matches will be found on 97.5 The Fanatic app and website. Additionally, the radio feed will be integrated and sync’d to action for all Union home matches on MLS Season Pass, giving fans the option to listen to their local commentators while watching.
Union fans can look forward to an exciting 2023 season with comprehensive coverage from a team of talented radio broadcast hosts. Seasoned play-by-play announcer and former pregame and postgame host for the Union, Dave Leno, and former defender on the Union’s inaugural team, Sheanon Williams, who also provided analysis on the Union’s 2022 pregame and postgame shows, will be the primary hosts. The co-hosts bring extensive knowledge and expertise on both the game and the team to be able to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on the matches.
They will be joined by a team of accomplished broadcasters, including ESPN, SEC and ACC broadcaster, Jonathan Yardley, CBS sports host and analyst, Lisa Roman, legendary Union alum Sébastien Le Toux, and Philadelphia Union Director of Digital and Content, Adam Cann, who will also contribute to the coverage.
The games had previously been on FOX Sports The Gambler, also with Leno and Le Toux involved in the broadcasts. There was then a postgame show featuring Sean Brace, Jon Jansen, Joe Tansey, and myself (so thanks to everyone who listened and supported over the past few seasons).
From an outside perspective, a Fanatic/Union partnership makes sense. 97.5 has embraced the team and the sport much more than WIP over the years, and their hosts will occasionally talk about the team. WIP has softened its stance on soccer over the years, and there are guys over there who support the Union, though some of their talent continues with something along the lines of “soccer is for Euro sissy boys” because I guess it works with the four for four crowd. It’s on brand.
Anyway, with WIP owning the Eagles and Phillies rights, Beasley adds the Union to its stable of Sixers, Flyers, and Temple football. The Gambler keeps Villanova. That’s the distribution of radio partners in 2023.
As you know, WIP has really pulled ahead in the ratings battle, to the point where it’s not much of a battle anymore. But there might be an opportunity for the Fanatic to explore some corners of the market that WIP ignores, and if you pull in the portion of Union fans that are also Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers fans (it’s a rather large portion), then this could give them a bit of a boost.