CINCINNATI — FC Cincinnati has added yet another feather to its cap after coming to terms with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group to televise all of the club’s 15 home matches this year.
“We’re pleased to partner with FC Cincinnati in this tremendously exciting endeavor,” said Jon Lawhead, Group Manager of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. “The tristate market has a great appetite for soccer, certainly fueled in part by the high rate of youth participation in our area. These factors combine to make it the perfect time to bring professional soccer to Cincinnati. As the FCC television partner, we’re proud to be able to provide multi-platform viewing opportunities for our viewers via our local TV stations, Local12, STAR 64 and the CW Cincinnati.”
“We are excited about our newest partnership with the Sinclair Broadcast Group,” said Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati President and General Manager. “Fans who are unable to enjoy the FC Cincinnati experience at Nippert Stadium first-hand will still be able to enjoy all the exciting soccer action on televisions in their homes, in addition to on radio. I have long enjoyed a good working relationship with Jon Lawhead and Local 12 and appreciate the opportunity to build FC Cincinnati with Sinclair’s stations as our official media partners.”
In addition to being shown on the Sinclair Broadcast Group network, FCC’s contests will be streamed on the United Soccer League’s YouTube channel and will be simulcast on ESPN 1530 through iHeartMedia.
“In the U.S., Nielsen ratings for Americans, aged 18-49, show soccer as a top three performing sport,” said Berding. “Fans continue to watch live sports on TV, so it is gratifying that our vision for bringing pro soccer at the highest level to Greater Cincinnati will include television broadcasts and we urge all companies who want to see this succeed consider advertising with us as a key measure of support.”
Tom Gelehrter, president of 4th Floor Creative, leads the broadcast team and will call the play-by-play. A veteran of broadcasting for 16 years, Gelehrter has called games for ESPNU, ESPN3, FOX Sports Ohio and 700-WLW. He has extensive experience in soccer at the collegiate level at both the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati.
Kevin McCloskey and Paul Rockwood will join Gelehrter on the air as color analysts. McCloskey, a native of Belfast, Ireland, played soccer at the University of Rio Grande in 1999. The All-American midfielder competed in two NAIA national tournaments before making the move to the professional ranks with the Cincinnati Kings, where he spent four years. McCloskey is currently the Men’s Executive Director for the Kings Hammer Soccer Club.
Rockwood also comes with a resume-laden background in the game. Inducted into the 2013 Ohio Soccer Hall of Fame, Rockwood captained the University of Akron men’s soccer team in 1968, under Coach Bill Killen and was named All-Ohio Team Most Valuable Player in 1969 and Best Defensive Player in 1970. He played professionally in the American Soccer League with the Cincinnati Comets from 1974-1975 and was voted a top 100 soccer educator by Major League Soccer.
Lindsay Patterson will serve as the broadcast team’s sideline reporter. Currently the morning traffic anchor for WDTN in Dayton, Patterson has spent the past four years as a sideline reporter with the Time Warner Cable Sports Network. Patterson also has experience as a sideline reporter on ESPN3 and worked as a radio producer/anchor for FC Cincinnati radio partner, ESPN 1530.
FC Cincinnati’s home schedule opens Apr. 9 against Queen City Cup rival, Charlotte Independence, at 7:00 p.m. at Nippert Stadium.