DENVER -- On Thursday, the Broncos announced that KUSA-TV -- better known in the Denver area as 9NEWS -- is the team's official television partner, effective immediately.
The club and the NBC affiliate reached a two-year agreement.
"The passion that our fans have for the Denver Broncos is very special, and we are fortunate to have a partnership with KUSA-TV that enables us to reach out to them through all 9NEWS platforms with in-depth, exclusive programming," Broncos President Joe Ellis said in a statement. "KUSA's emphasis on community involvement also provides our organization with many outreach opportunities in the region.
"We look forward to working with KUSA and its award-winning staff to provide quality Broncos content that exceeds our fans' expectations, delivering comprehensive coverage year round and bringing them closer than ever to this team."
The partnership was announced in a press conference at the Channel 9 headquarters in downtown Denver.
Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, Miles the mascot and members of Stampede marching band led Ellis and Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway into the press conference to raucous applause.
When he reached the podium, Ellis officially signed the agreement between the club and the station.
"This is a unique partnership, and it's a partnership that goes beyond just putting a business plan together," 9NEWS President and General Manager Mark Cornetta said. "It goes way beyond that, and it speaks to the community involvement that we have and that the Denver Broncos have. We share this vision of community and trying to have a greater outreach into our community."
KUSA-TV will have exclusive rights to all preseason telecasts not broadcast by a national network partner, and the station will host a series of weekly Broncos programs, including shows with Elway and Head Coach John Fox.
In addition, the team and KUSA-TV have plans to team up on several community initiatives.
It's the third time the Broncos and Channel 9 have joined forces, most recently during the 2003 season.
"I thought it would be kind of fun to look at what happened between 1996 and 2003 when we had our last deal," Cornetta said. "The (Broncos') record during that period was 83-45 -- a .648 record. ... Oh, and by the way, they won Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII."
Cornetta listed a few more notable events during that eight-season stretch, including Jason Elam's NFL record-tying field goal, and the Broncos' undefeated home record from 1996 to 1998.
When Elway stepped to the podium, he said he enjoyed the retrospective.
"2011 is like one big reunion -- we're bringing the whole team back," Elway smiled. "Obviously I was part of it and obviously Channel 9 was part of that. Believe me, I'm as superstitious as anybody -- I like to hear what Mark said about the record while the Broncos were on Channel 9. Now it's my job to get it back to that record, and I'm looking forward to that challenge."