By Rosemary Horvath
If your network TV or pricey TV subscription service won’t pick up Detroit Tiger games, dust off your radio and tune to WQBX 104.9 to hear games for free.
“No subscription necessary,” chuckled station owner and general manager Jim Sommerville whose company signed with the ball club’s flagship station WXYZ-Detroit to broadcast games over three seasons.
Tigers sell rights to a station to broadcast games then that station lines up affiliates around the state. “If all goes well we’ll continue to carry them,” Sommerville said.
WQBX coverage area is shaped like a vinyl record with Harrison at the top and Lansing at the bottom.
Radio frequency can be picked up in Isabella County and most of Clare County except around Lake where Sommerville said the FCC allowed a Christian station to drop in on 104.9.
The station carried Tiger games from the 70s until the late 90s when the affiliation fee got “extremely high and the team was not good. It was hard to sell advertising,” Sommerville said. He decided to look into it again after hearing people, himself included, crumble they couldn’t always pick up games.
About 13 years ago, the FM station went from 3000 to 6000 watts.
WQBX streams programs but is restricted from streaming Tiger games.