Bulldog broadcasts are moving up the radio dial. Play-by-play for Fresno State athletics will no longer air on KMJ radio, ending a four decade business partnership.

Live Bulldog broadcasts will now air on AM 940, the local ESPN affiliate, that includes football, men's basketball and baseball.

The radio station is a 24-hour sports station, which the owner and Fresno State said is a bonus for the university's programs.

"It will be a great opportunity for our programs to get even more coverage than we've had in the past, in a single home we're looking for a great relationship," said Fresno State Athletics Director, Thomas Boeh.

The co-owner of KFIG, the local ESPN radio station says his 24-hour sports format will give greater access to bulldog sports.

"There will be more promotions, more marketing, and more bulldog merchandizing in this valley than has ever been done before," said Chris Pacheco. He is a former KMJ staffer and Fresno State football player. He tried and failed five years ago to get this contract. Recently, he teamed up with other locally-owned radio stations to increase ESPN's broadcast reach in the valley.

"This is perfect timing to be able to launch into a much wider marketplace," said Fresno State Economist, Dr. William Rice. He added with bulldog football doing so well following a conference championship this season the new radio deal will help further expand the fan base.

"ESPN is associated nationwide, if not worldwide, with high professional sports," said Dr. Rice. "So we are not connected in a much purer form by being with ESPN."

KMJ has aired Fresno State sports since 1969. The rights to broadcast bulldog games were bought in 2007 by Learfield Sports, a company based in Texas.

Since then, KMJ's parent company, Peak Broadcasting, has paid a fee to Learfield to broadcast those games.

In a statement, the company said, "Learfield sports has made doing business with Fresno state fiscally unreasonable for KMJ."

AM 940 will begin airing bulldog games in the Spring. The dollar amount for the six-year deal has not been disclosed. But Fresno State will make more money off this contract.

The university and ESPN Radio are hoping to keep Paul Loeffler as the voice of bulldog sports. But that deal is still up in the air.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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