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Xfm bags Manchester United

Live commentary rights on every Manchester United game are making the switch from 105.4 Century FM to 97.7 Xfm. Legendary United winger Micky Thomas and commentary veteran Gary Weaver are signed up to provide FM coverage from the start of the new season.

Xfm says: "Bringing together Manchester's shared love of music and football, Xfm Manchester is the official radio station of Manchester United and will be covering every single game throughout the season, including the fast approaching Manchester Derby on August 19 2007."

The deal includes a weekly interview with Sir Alex Ferguson about the team, the forthcoming games and life in the United camp. Xfm Network Managing Director Nick Davidson commented: "Xfm Manchester has become a brand synonymous with great music in the city. Our Saturday afternoon show has always kept listeners up to date with the latest Premiership action but we wanted to offer more and this seemed like an opportunity too good to miss. Manchester United is arguably the biggest club in the world so to be its official radio station is fantastic. And having seasoned pro, Mickey Thomas, on board to give us the benefit of his professional knowledge should make for a great show."

Century FM says the substantial figure it was investing in the commentary rights would be better spent on other areas of the station’s programming and marketing including enhancement of the Legends weekday phone in, which will be extended from 60 to 90 minutes a day.

“Football debate is still an important part of Century’s schedule and our ever popular Legends show will remain the voice of the fans but Man Utd games are now on TV every week and, for us, it does not attract the audience it once did,” said Roy Bennett, MD of Century FM.

As games are played at various times during the week, the football will be broadcast on FM across Manchester with the rest of Xfm Manchester's output staying exactly the same continuing to be broadcast online across Manchester, the UK and the World.

Both Xfm and Century FM are based in the same building overlooking Old Trafford. Xfm will be moving to new studios in Exchange Quay later this year. Century FM are promoting football commentary for the new season will be available on 97.7 FM.

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