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September 26, 2018 6:56 am  #1


Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

Imagine for a moment that the Fan 590 suddenly didn't carry the Blue Jays or TSN 1050 didn't bother with the Leaf games. Sounds unthinkable, given their format? Well, consider what's happening this season for L.A. Kings fans in the U.S. 

After years of being bounced around various stations, the NHL franchise has announced it no longer has a flagship in the second biggest market in the U.S. - in fact, it has no broadcaster at all. Instead, all its "radio" games this year will be available only via the iHeartradio app. So if you want to hear any of their games this year, you'll have to stream them.

I'm not sure what this portends for future sports on the radio. After all, don't these teams receive a substantial fee for the rights to their games? What happens to all that money (and it can be considerable)? And how much of an audience will they lose by being on the web only? 

I don't think the Kings broadcasts are a huge draw in L.A. but I quite can't recall another instance of a major league outlet not being on the radio for an entire season. It will be interesting to see how well this experiment works out and if any other teams follow their lead. 

Los Angeles Kings to ditch radio broadcasts in favor of online streaming 

 

September 26, 2018 7:08 am  #2


Re: Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

It may well be the continuation of a trend that began earlier this year in Carolina, where the Hurricanes ditched their long-time play-by=play broadcaster and are currently seeking radio stations who will air the TV feed of each game. As noted in this article, the radio audience for Canes games is often as low as 2,000 listeners per night.

https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/luke-decock/article214456059.html

 

September 26, 2018 7:28 am  #3


Re: Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

Things have already changed drastically in the sports media world. I well remember a few decades ago some pundits predicting that most baseball games would one day be available only on cable. Others scoffed at that idea, saying it would never happen and that there would always be a "game of the week." 

Well, we know what happened. Outside of a very occasional free conventional TV game from the Yankees or one of the other major market teams and the once-in-a-blue moon Fox Saturday special (did they even have one this year?) the entire season unfolds only off air. There is no longer a single regular season  Blue Jays game on free TV. Not one. And it's been that way for years.

Now the early playoff rounds are also off limits to conventional television. The World Series still airs on Fox, but who knows what happens when that deal expires?

Given the revenue it generates, I suspect The Super Bowl would be the last mega-event to go cable only. But given the trends we've been seeing over the past few decades, I wouldn't rule it out.

Pay-per-view Super Bowl? I wonder how much that would rake in once people got over their initial reluctance to shell out the bucks for it. 

     Thread Starter
 

September 26, 2018 8:38 am  #4


Re: Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

Once upon a time Montreal Expos english language "radio broadcasts" were available only at Expos.com. I believe that was in 2001. Now there were some extenuating circumstances at play but still I remember thinking  how in the hell could that even happen? Absolutely no one would have ever predicted such a scenario. Precedents set...


"I'll kick your ass down Yonge Street"... CFTR's Robert Holiday circa 1979...
 

September 26, 2018 12:21 pm  #5


Re: Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

At one time radio rights had more value when some games were not available on TV and you actually needed a television to watch the games.  But most, if not all, games are televised and can often be streamed live on your phone or tablet.  So there is less need for a radio broadcast of the games. 

 

September 26, 2018 12:57 pm  #6


Re: Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

Yes the main Fox network does regional telecasts in May and early June on Saturdays. Until the playoff races develop, the Saturday games shift to their cable network FS1.  Now The Sat games are back on the main network. MLB restricts the number of times a team can appear in a season, to keep the major market teams from being telecast every week. Yes FOX still has the World Series but years ago farmed the early rounds to TNT, TBS etc. The same thing has happened with March Madness. At one time, CBS televised the whole tournament. They can't afford the rights fees on their own now. So now, TNT, TBS and something called TRUTV  broadcast a large number of the games.                                                                                                                                                                            Regarding the Super Bowl, The NFL will sell their broadcast rights to who ever has the deepest pockets. Sunday Ticket is the league's crown jewel. For those who don't watch football, a subscription gives you access to all 1pm and 4pm games. Several years ago, the NFL sold the Canadian rights to British streaming service DAZN effectively leaving all Cable and Satelite providers on the outside. South of the border, Direct TV pays boatloads of cash to the NFL to keep the service out of  the hands of rival service providers. I can see the Super Bowl going PPV, when the major advertisers notice less bang for their buck and spend their money elsewhere. One thing PPV would do is end the never ending debate about simsub.

 

September 26, 2018 1:46 pm  #7


Re: Major League Team Ditches Radio Play-By-Play For Streaming-Only

Its very complicated and seems to vary by league and existing rights packages.  As an example, the FAN 590 can not stream Blue Jays games over the internet due to major league regulations.

One of the more bizarre situations occurred when Brooke Henderson won the CN Canadian Womens Open and TSN had to use a simulcast of the Golf Channel coverage because no Canadian network held the rights to the tournament.