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Illinois Football, Men's Basketball Move to WLS This Fall


Illinois WLS-AM
Illinois WLS-AM

The University of Illinois adds WLS-AM/Chicago as the university's newest radio affiliate, which will carry all football and men's basketball games, as well as the seasonal coaches' shows, through the 2023-24 season. The five-year deal, which officially kicks off with the 2019 football season, marks a first for the Fighting Illini and Cumulus Media-owned station. During football, fans will be able to catch the weekly radio show with head coach Lovie Smith and head coach Brad Underwood during men's basketball season.

"We're thrilled to be a part of this great combination, a program rich in college sports history with a station rich in radio history... serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years. We look forward to delivering high-quality game broadcasts and programming for the passionate Illini fanbase, ensuring they won't miss a key moment of any game, home or away," said Cumulus Chicago VP/Sales Jeff Hill.

The Fighting Illini Sports Network now encompasses 50 radio affiliates across Illinois and in St. Louis. The affiliates and all broadcast aspects are overseen and managed by University of Illinois Athletics' multimedia rightsholder, Fighting Illini Sports Properties.

"Our new agreement with WLS-AM 890 fulfills our longstanding interest in a strong, dedicated, synergistic radio partner in the Chicago market," said UI Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. "The Chicago media market is extremely competitive, but now Fighting Illini fans throughout the Midwest can listen to each of our football and men's basketball games on the powerful signal that WLS brings to the airwaves. We are excited about this new relationship and are grateful to WLS-AM 890 for their partnership, along with our colleagues at Fighting Illini Sports Properties for brokering this promising new arrangement."

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