FC Cincinnati Announce Star64, IHeartRadio as Local Broadcast Partners
CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati announced today local broadcast agreements with television and radio partners. For a sixth consecutive season, WSTR Star 64, part of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, will continue to be the local Official Broadcast Partner of FC Cincinnati for the 2021 season. In addition, for the first time, FC Cincinnati have partnered with iHeartRadio to be the Official Radio Broadcast Home of FC Cincinnati for the 2021 season.
Similar to the club's first two MLS seasons, the broadcast will take place in a two-and-a-half hour window and include a 30-minute postgame show during each telecast.
Further terms of the two agreements were not released.
"We're excited to have two great broadcast partners ahead of our inaugural season at West End Stadium," FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding said. "While we are excited to welcome fans back to our matches for the 2021 season, we are thrilled to have two strong broadcast partners for our fans who will be watching and listening to matches away from our new home. We couldn't be more pleased to have our matches on WSTR and iHeartRadio this season."
"We take great pride in delivering FC Cincinnati programming to the Tri-State area on ESPN 1530 for the inaugural season at the brand new, and very impressive, West End Stadium," said DJ Hodge, Market President, iHeartMedia Cincinnati. "We are thrilled to bring FC Cincinnati and MLS Soccer back to our line-up, and continue providing great coverage of the Orange and Blue for FC Cincinnati fans on-air and online via the iHeartRadio app."
In addition, for a second consecutive season, all locally broadcasted matches will be free to stream for fans in the club's designated regional broadcast territory, which includes Greater Cincinnati, as well as Dayton, eastern Indiana, Lexington and Louisville regions.
The free match streams will be accessible inside the geofenced region and accessible at fccincinnati.com/stream. Each stream will begin at the advertised kickoff time and will include the entire match broadcast, including the 30-minute post-match show.
Fans who live outside the club's designated broadcast region will continue to stream locally broadcasted games via a monthly subscription to ESPN+.
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WSTR continues its relationship with FC Cincinnati as the club is set to have its first season at West End Stadium. WSTR has carried FCC's matches in each of its first five years of existence - the first of three while playing in the United Soccer League and the previous two seasons in MLS.
Also returning for a second consecutive year together on air is the FC Cincinnati broadcast trio of Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst) and Alex Stec (sideline). David Ashbrock returns as the broadcast's lead producer. The club's three-person broadcast team will be central to every WSTR telecast, including live, on-site reporting from every away game.
Broadcast Team Bios
Tom Gelehrter, Play-by-Play & Executive Producer: For the sixth straight season, Tom Gelehrter once again leads the FC Cincinnati broadcast team, bringing 22 years of experience to the booth. Gelehrter served as the "Voice of FC Cincinnati" throughout the USL era and has extensive experience on both television and radio, having called games for ESPNU, ESPN3, FOX Sports Ohio and 700-WLW. Before founding 4th Floor Creative, he spent nine years as the Senior Director of New Media and Broadcasting at the University of Cincinnati. Additionally, Gelehrter called soccer on the collegiate level at both the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati and hosted the weekly television shows for Bearcats football and basketball for seven years. He is a 2002 graduate of Syracuse University.
Kevin McCloskey, Match Analyst: Kevin McCloskey joined the FC Cincinnati broadcast team in 2016 and has served as the club's match analyst since. A native of Belfast, Ireland, Kevin McCloskey moved to the United States in 1999 to play soccer at the University of Rio Grande. He was an All-American midfielder during his collegiate career and participated in two NAIA national tournaments before playing professionally for four years with the Cincinnati Kings of the USL. He has experience as an assistant coach with the men's soccer programs at Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University, the University of Rio Grande and Urbana University. McCloskey currently serves as Executive Director for Kings Hammer Soccer Club and holds a USSF A license. Prior to his collegiate career, he played on the Northern Ireland U16 & U18 national teams. McCloskey received his bachelor's degree from the University of Rio Grande and master's degree from Urbana University.
Alex Stec, Sideline Reporter: Alex Stec joined the FC Cincinnati organization in 2018 as the club's Social Media Manager. Now the club's Director of Digital Content, Stec leads the planning and execution of content across FCCincinnati.com and all of the club's social media channels. In the club's inaugural 2019 MLS season, Stec hosted FC Cincinnati's Pre-Match Meeting live show prior to away matches. She made her FC Cincinnati sideline reporting debut in 2020 and will continue in that role for both home and away matches during the 2021 campaign. Formerly the Brand Journalist for Columbus Crew SC from 2015-18, she served as sideline reporter for select Columbus Crew SC matches on Spectrum SportsNet from 2016-18. A versatile talent, Stec has also served as in-stadium host and PA announcer for various USWNT matches. A native of Medina, Ohio, Stec played soccer at Ohio University from 2010-14.
David Ashbrock, Producer: Award-winning producer David Ashbrock returns for his sixth season leading FC Cincinnati's broadcast production. Ashbrock is an independent television producer, director, editor, animator and project manager who regularly works for FOX and ESPN. He is the coordinating producer and director for the Cincinnati Bengals Television Network and is the lead consultant-designer for studio and edit facilities at Pro Football Focus. His sports experience includes both producing and directing basketball, tennis, indoor and outdoor soccer, volleyball, college and professional football, bowling, golf, hockey and horse racing. Ashbrock was the executive producer and director of University of Cincinnati Basketball and football from 1983-2007. In his 41 years in Cincinnati television, Ashbrock has won 39 Regional Emmy Awards and three Telly Awards for his work.
FC Cincinnati will return to the pitch for their third MLS season on Saturday, April 17, when the team opens the season on the road against Nashville SC. FCC will officially open their 2021 home slate on Sunday, May 16, when the team hosts Inter Miami CF in the inaugural match at West End Stadium in a nationally televised 4 p.m. game.
For up-to-the-minute information about FC Cincinnati, visit the team's official website at fccincinnati.com, or follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FCCincinnati. Additionally, fans are encouraged to download the team's official mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play for instant access to mobile tickets, team content and match notifications.
Information about seating options at the club's state-of-the-art West End Stadium - which will open in Spring 2021 - is now available at westendstadium.com. For more information about 2021 Season Ticket Memberships, which are now on sale to the general public, visit westendstadium.com or the stadium's social properties on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @WestEndStadium, or by calling the team's sales and service staff at 513-977-5425.
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