Mercer has announced that Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. will serve as the flagship radio network for the school’s men’s basketball games in 2009-2010. The broadcaster’s Fox Sports Radio 1670 AM, WFSM, will carry all of the Bears’ games live next season, while sister FM stations, WPCH 96.5 and WZCH 102.5, will also simulcast games that tip off at 6 p.m. or later. In addition, the games will be available on the World Wide Web on the Fox Sports Radio 1670 site at http://www.foxsports1670.com and the Mercer Web site at http://www.mercerbears.com.
“We are extremely pleased with the contract with Clear Channel” said Athletics Director Bobby Pope. “It truly gives us a network with the games being carried on three stations along with the World Wide Web. We also have the opportunity to broadcast other Mercer Athletic events as well, and we will explore those options to get more recognition for sports other than men’s basketball.”
Last year, under first-year head coach Bob Hoffman, the Bears played one of the most eye-opening non-conference schedules in the country, taking on such established programs as UCLA, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Dayton, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Auburn. The Bears upset Alabama and Auburn back-to-back, went on to win the most games since the 2003 season and Hoffman was named the collegeinsider.com “coach of the year.”
Although the full 2009-2010 schedule will not be announced for a few more weeks, contests that have been confirmed include return games at Georgia Tech and Alabama, plus a homecoming game against Florida State on Nov. 21 at the University Center.
Mercer’s Atlantic Sun Conference games will also be among the broadcasts, including the 2010 A-Sun Basketball Championships, to be played this year for the first time on the Mercer campus at the University Center. Three A-Sun teams -- East Tennessee State University, Jacksonville and Belmont -- advanced to post-season play last season.
Bill Clark, market manager for the radio network, said, "Clear Channel is very pleased that the Mercer Athletic Department has chosen Fox Sports 1670 and The Peach 96.5/102.5 to be the radio and internet home of Mercer University basketball. It is clear that Mercer's basketball program is the premier athletic event in Middle Georgia and our stations are proud to be affiliated with such a great program."
Rick Cameron, “voice of the Bears” for the past three seasons, will continue to call the play-by-play. He is Mercer’s senior assistant vice president for marketing communications and was the men’s and women’s basketball public address announcer for six years before moving over to the radio broadcast.
Other Clear Channel radio stations in the Macon market include V101.7, Q 106.3, 97.9 WIBB-FM and 1280 WIBB-AM.