Los Angeles Football Club announced additions to their local broadcast coverage for the 2018 season on Thursday, unveiling ESPNLA 710 AM as the MLS team’s English-language radio partner and 980 AM, known as “La Mera Mera,” as the Spanish-language home for the team.
Both stations will offer broadcasts of all 34 MLS regular season matches this season for LAFC, and La Mera Mera will also have pregame and postgame shows and a weekly LAFC show on Sundays at 5 pm.
Dave Denholm will call LAFC games for ESPNLA 710. Denholm currently hosts “Soccer Weekly” on the channel, and is an experienced caller. If you’ve watched a Fox soccer game or a CONCACAF Champions League match in the past decade, chances are you’ve heard him.
Armando Aguayo will call the games on La Mera Mera, with experienced reporter Francisco X. Rivera providing color commentary on most games.
“We are excited to expand our broadcast reach and partner with ESPNLA 710 AM and KFWB 980 AM,” LAFC owner and president Tom Penn said in a statement. “We are committed to making our matches accessible throughout Los Angeles, and these industry leaders will provide comprehensive coverage of our club throughout Southern California.”
While I’ll admit I don’t listen to the radio in Spanish ever, I do know how big of a reach ESPNLA 710 has in Southern California. Not only is their signal strong (touted as 50,000 watts in the release) but they cover just about every major team in LA and getting a piece of the action for LAFC is a good move for drawing in casual fans. To take one anecdotal example, much of the news about LAFC from the member of my household who is not a soccer fan has been learned on ESPNLA 710 simulcasts of the “Mason & Ireland Show” on Spectrum SportsNet in recent months. At the very least, the visibility can’t hurt.
So this news fills out the radio portion of LAFC’s broadcast options for the 2018 season, joining the MLS national broadcasts on ESPN, Fox and Univision networks and the local English broadcast streaming deal on YouTube TV. The only news that has been promised and is yet to drop is the Spanish-language TV deal, which is supposed to be over-the-air. But with the first four games of the season on national TV, the Spanish TV announcement may or may not come before Sunday’s season opener against the Seattle Sounders.
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