Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sports Media Report - August 27 update

The increased emphasis between pro sports and technology turned up another notch with last week's announcement that ESPN has signed a new digital rights agreement to run through 2013. Sunday Night Baseball is expected to stream on starting next season, with baseball content expected to be available on iTunes and Xbox Live. It is possible that ESPN telecasts of games on Monday and Wednesday nights will also be streamed, while will have rights to video highlights of games.

This comes as the MLB cable network debuts prior to the start of next season with an early promise of a 2-hour or more live studio update show available every night throughout the season.

Just one more weekend before the start of the NFL season that kicks off in full on Sept. 7th. Hard to believe that FOX-TV begins its 15th year of televising NFC road games, but that is now how long FOX has been on the map as a TV network. One new broadcast booth addition is former Ravens coach Brian Billick who will be a game analyst. He is expected to work as a third man in the booth with Dick Stockton and Brian Baldinger, except for a couple of games with just him and Thom Brennaman handling the calls.CBS-TV has brought back Hall of Fame QB Dan Fouts for the analyst role he held with the network from 1988 to 1993. Fouts will no longer call college games for ABC-TV due to this move, which should be a very good addition for CBS.

Meanwhile, it would good to see Turner's launch a great innovation for golf fans this past weekend (Aug. 21). The "PGA Tour Shot Tracker" allows fans to follow specific players' shots including the path of the shot. This feature is expected to be available during the year's remaining PGA events. I especially like this because this is something you can't get on TV, and for that matter, even if you are at the tournament in person. I'd like to think that the NFL would be monitoring this feature. It would be fun to be able to watch defensive trends or follow what the star QB or running backs do on plays where they don't handle the ball.

The SEC continues to be big business as college football rolls out for 2008 and well into the future. In addition to its deal with CBS-TV, the Conference significantly expanded its deal with ESPN starting in one year and going through the 2023-24 seasons.ESPN will continue to show Saturday night football as well as at least 2 Thursday night games each season, along with the ability to syndicate regional telecasts of the remaining games not picked up by CBS-TV (as part of that huge deal). In addition, ESPNU will produce a weekly one hour show specific to the SEC. ESPN Classic will have the right to show an additional game in along with "classic" SEC games.For basketball, ESPN will increase its SEC presence with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday games each week (when games are available), along with some regional syndication of games not shown on any of its networks. ESPN and ABC-TV will televise the Conference championship tournament. As with football, ESPN Classic will be able to show additional games and "classic" games.

That is not all that I was referring to when I said the SEC continues to be big business. While both the CBS-TV and ESPN contracts are each for huge money and long term, it doesn't stop there. The member schools retain the rights to make their own local media deals. Radio rights for schools such as Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky, are worth millions to the schools over the years with a large number of local stations successfully selling the time. This could wind up like the NFL, where so much revenue is derived from national and local TV, Radio, and media rights that it hardly matters if any fans buy a ticket for the games. Once upon a time, schools wanted to have a good football and basketball team so that students and alumni would buy tickets for the game. But unlike the NFL, college teams don't have $50,000,000+ payrolls.

The Big Ten Conference, with plenty of media packages of its own, managed to pick up some additional exposure as the Big Ten Network will be seen on Time Warner Cable in large parts of Ohio and Wisconsin in time for the upcoming football season. For this season, it will be a part of expanded basic, similar to the deal the BTN struck a few weeks ago with Comcast.

NEW YORK - Here we are only about 7 weeks away from the start of NBA training camps, but the New York Knicks have been quiet about whether or not they will have a new radio team for this season. The skeptics point out that the radio broadcasts might be the only decent "team" to talk about. Negotiations are reportedly continuing with Gus Johnson to return with play-by-play, but nothing official yet. Johnson has handled the duties for the past 5 years along with John Andariese, but was not used for MSG's summer league telecasts from Las Vegas last month where he was usually teamed with Walt Frazier.

While it is too early to know how Brett Favre will impact the TV and radio ratings for Jets games this season, his fans in Wisconsin will get every opportunity to follow his exploits. In addition to the Green Bay CBS-TV outlet, now WDJT-TV Milwaukee is looking to show the Jets games as much as possible. The Jets at Miami opener on Sept. 7th will be shown in both Milwaukee and Green Bay, with seven other Jets telecasts tentatively scheduled to be shown there as well.

WASHINGTON D.C.: The research data now available to sports teams about broadcasts and online will help most teams in terms of research and working with advertisers and sponsors, but I can't say the same about the Nationals. Being dead last in the National League standings is one thing. But ratings for their broadcasts so low that more people are at some games than are listening is another. While teams such as the St. Louis Cardinals struggle with radio signal issues for night games, the Nationals games are on powerful 1500 AM that reaches all over the southeast coast at night. Announcers Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler do a good job, but it goes unnoticed. To make matters worse, it is not like the local attention has turned to the nearby Baltimore Orioles, who have also fallen into last place in the American League East.

TAMPA - As the baseball world takes serious notice of the Rays and their tremendous regular season, fans are finally starting to notice broadcasting's latest family connection. Most fans know about the Caray family (although Chip is now the lone survivor with the passings of Skip and Harry), Marty and Thom Brennaman in Cincinnati, and Ernie Johnson and son in Atlanta.Going unnoticed until this season is Rays broadcaster Todd Kalas. Todd is in the running for a nomination for MLB's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence, with fan voting starting on Labor Day to qualify. Todd is well on his way of carrying on the Kalas family tradition of excellent broadcasting started by his father Harry. Harry, of course, has been a voice of the Phillies going back to the 70's and of NFL Films for many years.

OREGON - Oregon State University began its "Beaver Sports Talk" this past Tuesday (Aug. 26) when the weekly one hour radio show made its season debut. The show is broadcast throughout the OSU Radio Network affiliates, and is live and open to the public at a local pub across the street from campus where fans are invited to watch. Host Mike Parker was joined by the school's Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis on the opening show. The show will be on Tuesday nights through September and move to Thursdays starting October 9th.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sports Media Update - August 20th

The NFL has expanded another revenue stream, but could also indirectly benefit from informal research. Sprint's "NFL Mobile Live" is being expanded for the upcoming season, with Sprint users having access to live NFL games via some of the paid plans it offers.

Although I am generally against paying "extra" for game information, the subscriber access to live game broadcasts and team updates is not the only feature this service will offer.

This service brings's fantasy league to cell phones. Fantasy players will be able to track the performance of their players with real-time stats and rankings. That is quite the service for the hyperactive fantasy players that is truly an amazing use of technology. To think that 20 years ago a lot of people didn't understand what a "fantasy league" was and how it worked, let alone having no idea this technology would come about. Now, fans can literally keep track of "their" team, whether the real thing or one they have personally organized. And do so wherever they are via cell phone - even if they are attending an NFL game. What a great idea!

Meanwhile, I normally don't start rumors, but I'm going with this one. The Sirius XM signing of the "Mad Dog" channel seems a bit much for a New York City area sports talker.
But take the elements of well known talkers from major markets and put them on the same channel, and just maybe a few satellite subscribers could be pryed away from their usual sports outlet at some point during the day.

Mike North, recently dropped from Chicago's WSCR "The Score" after a 16 year run including morning drive, has said he will be back on the air after Labor Day. I'm thinking that the Mad Dog Channel could be where. North had a fill-in on WFAN between Imus and the current morning show. The idea of a Chicago or midwest oriented talk show for mornings or middays on Sirius XM prior to a New York based show in the afternoon could make for an interesting combination. (The Mad Dog himself will host 2 - 7 PM ET.)

There are some other well known hosts who might fit in during other dayparts. Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton has been on the outs lately with teams in Southern California, but has a 20 year track record as a Los Angeles and San Diego area talker, as well as some national filling in. And while Sid Rosenburg is doing well with his Miami morning show, he has been national in scope when he handled sports for Don Imus until 2007.

Again, this is my hunch only, and I'm sticking with it.

Meanwhile, while the Southeast Conference gets ready to enjoy its windfall from the new CBS-TV contract, the SEC may not done with the cash cow yet. The Conference's deals with ESPN and Raycom are set to expire after the coming seasons. Yet, the SEC is reportedly meeting with both regarding a future deal.

OKLAHOMA CITY - The football and basketball seasons are about to start, but it is already too expensive to deal with it. Whether you have tickets or not. Sorry, but I continue to be offended about college football telecasts being pay-per-view. There are no multi-million dollar payrolls to worry about. The Oklahoma season opener on Aug. 30th is against Chattanooga. Yet, this game will be available as a pay-per-view for, get this, $29.95. Not for a ticket on the 40 yard line, but to watch the game live on home TV. Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman will call the game, each of whom are part of the CBS-TV college football package. All I can say is that the people who fork out the big bucks for this telecast should look in the mirror when they want to complain about the high cost of cable TV for channels they don't want. If people spend $29.95 additional for one game, what does that show the cable companies?

But it doesn't end there. The new OK City NBA team has announced its ticket prices for the coming inaugural season. Lower level tickets at the Ford Center for regular season games will range from $50 to $250 per game. And that is without factoring in parking and concessions.

There is still room for radio in that market. Fans can listen to OU football and soon to NBA basketball - for free.

In their defense, it might not be just the Oklahoma City market for college football pay-per-view. FSN Midwest is expected to feed the University of Missouri games on Sept. 6 vs. Southeast Missouri State and Sept. 13 vs. Nevada on pay-per-view. Even though it would be because none of the networks have picked up these non-conference games. Let me get this straight. The networks won't touch these games because they can't draw enough interest from advertisers, but fans will be asked to pay $30 each for these telecasts??

INDIANAPOLIS: The ratings debut of WFNI 1070, the former WIBC-AM, was impressive against rival WNDE 1260. While WNDE won middays and afternoon drive, WFNI also easily outdistanced WXLW Sports 950 and did slightly better in the morning with its airing of Mike & Mike from ESPN Radio. WFNI is expected to add one or more locally based shows between 10 and 3 within the next month, and should get an added boost with the start of its Colts broadcasts this month and the Pacers starting in October. WNDE carries national broadcasts of MLB and other Westwood One games, along with Purdue football and basketball.

WASHINGTON D.C. - While the Nationals aren't setting the baseball world on fire both on the field and in terms of ratings, it was good to see the news that TV voice Bob Carpenter has been renewed for next season. 2009 will be his fourth year as the voice of the Nationals. He earns his pay and then some for making that team sound good.

HOUSTON - Nice to see Gene Elston being honored still again for his 25 seasons of describing the Astros (and, for trivia buffs - the Colt 45's) games. Elston was elected into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor, becoming the second individual to be so honored. The Astros have announced (pun intended) a pregame ceremony to honor Elston on Sept. 24th before the Astors play the Cincinnati Reds.

BUFFALO - Former Niagara basketball coach Jack Armstrong begins co-hosting a sports talk show on Monday. What makes this so interesting is that it will not be on WGR 550 AM. Instead, Armstrong will be heard right next door on The Fan 590, along with hockey expert Doug MacLean. (MacLean is the former coach and GM of the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets.) 590 AM is the Toronto all-sports station, which is also home to the Toronto Raptors. Technically, Armstrong replaces Chuck Swirsky on 590's afternoon show, as Swirsky has moved to Chicago to become radio voice of the Chicago Bulls. Let's see if or how WGR reacts locally.
This is over-the-air TV, but here goes the NFL. Rochester TV is subject to the NFL blackout rule and can only air Bills home games when sold out 72 hours in advance, due to its being within 75 miles of the originating team's market. Yet, this Sunday (Aug. 24) night when the Bills take on the Indy Colts in a pre-season game, WHAM-TV cannot carry the telecast. The reason? The game is being shown on the NFL Network, which only provides for a "local market" TV station to also carry its telecasts. It's time to throw the review flag on that one!

North Carolina State fans will have "Wolfpack Sports Today" on local 99.9 FM The Fan every weekday afternoon at 4:55, hosted by Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes. In addition, a weekly one hour show began last Saturday at 9:00 in the morning on 99.9 and is available at no cost on for fans around the region and nationally. Nice concept - a free show for the fans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sports Media Report - August 13th Update

How about promoting instead of battling? Radio owners including Clear Channel just spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to block the satellite radio merger. That money would have been better spent on an effective publicity campaign for theirs and other FM and AM radio stations in general.

As I've said thousands of times, if FM-AM radio had varied playlists with thousands of songs and wider format variety, unlimited local and national sports events, entertainers hosting their own programs, and stopped the five minute plus commercial clusters, millions of people wouldn't feel compelled to spend a monthly fee to listen to satellite radio in the first place. Instead, they would have bought HD radios to enjoy these niche channels along with the local stations they used to enjoy.

Another advantage radio has is specific to the sports fan. No blackouts of local teams and games. They are all on. As a fan paying a rising monthly fee for cable TV, I'm feeling ripped off, just as I would with satellite TV. Not the case with radio. I am paying for a service and I subscribe because I can get certain channels. But there are still instances where basic and subscription packages still black out telecasts in certain markets.

These days, the blackout crap even extends to online streaming by At first I welcomed the Yahoo Sports story the other day about how the folks at are looking at lifting local blackout restrictions for their online streaming of live games package as soon as next season. It seems that presently local teams have the right to stop additional games from being seen online by subscribers in defined geographic areas. While changing that would be a positive, it never should have been an issue in the first place.

This is in the same category as situations in baseball and with the NBA where a national cable telecast is blacked out in one or both of the teams' local markets. It is to "force" us to watch the local telecast. Sorry again, but I am paying for a choice I'm not getting. There are situations where fans such as myself don't enjoy the local announcers and/or are not fans of the anchor team of the telecast and prefer a national perspective. We should have that choice.

Without every possible game shown being available, I won't even think about paying for the games online. I don't like the TV announcers for my favorite team, so I would consider buying the MLB package if I could then watch the other team's local telecast. But I can't do that either with the pay package on cable or online.

If the local telecasts lose rating points and ad dollars because people are watching a national version, it should be a red flag for the local team to make changes. The bottom line should be that the teams and the games have the full amount of viewers they could get, no matter where they are being seen.

Fans in the New York - Boston corridor probably don't realize that TBS has a Sunday afternoon MLB package. So far it has been mostly NY and Boston games, and TBS is presently blacked out by cable systems carrying the local telecast. Yet, those same fans still pay the same price each month for TBS, even though they are not getting all of its programming.

What does this have to do with radio? This lack of choice is non-existent. The home team broadcasts are always heard, and when a national broadcast airs on another station in the market, they both air. Examples include Sunday Night Baseball when ESPN Radio's broadcast goes up against the local team's regular broadcast if they are on separate stations. Baseball post-season games also are often carried with both the local and national feed competing.

This is the sort of thing that radio in general could be promoting. Stations can make it look like they play more than 500 songs each, point out that they have no local sports blackouts like TV, and offer live local coverage not found anywhere else. The rest of that money should be spent on using their HD channels to carry additional sports broadcasts, replay games, plus additional music and local information channels.

Meanwhile, we have had another example in sports of how one player can impact thousands of media dollars within a matter of hours. This week it is Brett Favre. Or it could be. Hours after his being traded to the Jets, the NFL Network adjusted its TV schedule for the pre-season, getting the first Jets exhibition game on live and scheduling the others for tape delayed showing across the country of the Jets telecasts. (Ironicially, Favre was traded by Green Bay and the majority of Wisconsin still cannot receive NFL Network, but that's another story.)

There will be even more impact on the TV regular season. ESPN will not be sending its entire crew to Green Bay for its Monday Night Football opener on Sept. 8th and the surrounding program since there will not be a Favre retirement ceremony. That was the reason for scheduling this as the Monday opener in the first place. Yet, WFRV-TV Channel 5 Green Bay is reported to be looking at scheduling as many of the Jets' games as it can as part of its CBS-TV schedule of games. Since the majority of the Packers Sunday and non-national games are carried by Fox, WFRV gets to choose which game(s) to carry the majority of the Sundays. Yet, 3 of the first 4 Jets telecasts scheduled for CBS-TV are games against Miami, Cincinnati, and Kansas City. Not exactly the cream of the crop. The Sept. 14th game Jets vs. New England is already slated as the CBS-TV doubleheader game, and that figures to be the only big draw of the bunch, even in Green Bay.

The whole thing could backfire if Favre's "arm fatigue" leading into this coming weekend results in him not even playing regularly. I doubt that fans will tune in every week to watch him patrol the sidelines if that is where he winds up.

COLUMBUS - While the Big Ten Network finally debuts over the next couple of weeks in many of the Big Ten markets on basic cable, still no such luck for most Ohio State fans in the heart of the Buckeyes region. Even the BTN deal with Comcast didn't get it done with Time Warner Cable in Ohio. And the BTN will likely carry 3 of their first 5 games during the coming football season.

St. LOUIS - The legal action between former KFNS 590 AM sports talk host Kevin Slaten and the station over the Dave Duncan interview months ago when Duncan was not told he was on the air has taken the next step. A judge has ruled that Slaten indeed must stay off the St. Louis area air waves until at least October 5, 2008. The action means that Slaten was not able to remove the non-compete clause in his contract. This ruling is independent of the non-compete legal action underway in New York.

PHILADELPHIA - WIP and the Flyers welcome Chris Therien as the new radio analyst beginning this coming season, replacing Brian Propp. Tim Saunders continues on play-by-play. Therien has experience with Comcast SportsNet Post Game Live locally, and has also done some work on NHL Network. He played 11 seasons with the Flyers.

BUFFALO - Congrats to Ron Jaworski. The ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and former Eagles QB has been named to the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Ron is antive of suburban Lackawanna.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sports Media Update - August 7th

Fans of all sports radio have choices in many markets between the constant phone calls format and the ESPN Radio sports information format. Where there is a choice, I will almost always go with what I call the "information" format. It is a matter of personal taste, but I listen to sports radio to gather information. I like to hear an interview with a player, coach, team executive, college administrator, along with updates, previews, and reviews of the games of the day.

There are those times when I actually do want to hear what the fans think, rare as they may be. I happened to be in Boston last Thursday when the news of the Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers trade broke. Knowing there would be a mixed reaction, I had the chance to listen to Boston's WEEI for a couple hours. In addition to official reaction, they basically became "all Manny" until 11:00 that night, as it happened that the Red Sox were idle that day. There was one instance where hearing the same opinions, positive or negative, really were interesting listening.

Those fans for it or against it had similar reasons for their feelings. As always with fans talking, it was the "I agree with the last caller" sort of thing. But the one thing that came through loud and clear was the passion of every fan that called in. While it is too bad there aren't nearly enough passionate topics during the course of a sports day, this was one instance of a major sports station staying with a big story, and bringing out the passion enough to keep it interesting for everyone.

Meanwhile, the death of Skip Caray this past weekend was certainly a huge loss for baseball fans everywhere. His unique combination of honesty and humor will be missed. I have enjoyed reading and hearing the tributes to Skip from fellow announcers, players, coaches, managers, and family members. It is well deserved. But in tribute, I find something missing.

This is not to compare Skip Caray to Howard Cosell. I mention Cosell because in my opinion Cosell and Skip Caray have something in common. Like them or not, they each pioneered one aspect of sports broadcasting which is very much a part of what we see and hear today.

Like him or not, Cosell is remembered for pioneering an announcer being critical of a player during a broadcast as well as for bringing us more than a 2 person TV broadcast team. Skip Caray brought fun and humor into a national telecast, as well as being the first primary voice for multiple major league sports events on a cable network.

True, Bob Uecker was a few years ahead of Caray with bringing humor into both his local Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts on WTMJ and on ABC-TV's national games. But Caray did the Braves from the first days of WTBS being a cable superstation calling the majority of innings for more than 140 telecasts each season for several years starting in the late 70's. He was the sports announcer heard the most by cable viewers even before ESPN existed. Yet he was not the typical or conventional announcer one would expect from being in the national spotlight and calling "his" local team.

Not only did Skip call practically all of the Braves games for WTBS, but he also called more than half of the NBA Atlanta Hawks games for several seasons, and an occasional college football telecast. When Turner Sports first got an NFL cable package, which again was history, Skip Caray called a series of Sunday Night NFL games. Maybe he won't be remembered for his NFL work, but the point is that Skip Caray was the first to call that many pro baseball, basketball, and football games on a cable network. WTBS was Atlanta channel 17 when Ted Turner got the idea of putting his channel out on satellite in the late 70's and let the nation see his Braves and Hawks practically every day. For myself and people over the age of 40, that was a major reason why I wanted cable TV. And when I finally was able to get it, Skip Caray was the voice that made it all real. Thanks for everything, Skip!

Meanwhile, Fox Sports Radio has unveiled a new Sunday morning show which will be geared toward fantasy football. Fox Fantasy Freaks will air on football Sundays from 10 AM until Noon ET, and be hosted by former WOAI and KTKR San Antonio's Nate Lundy along with fantasy football writer Michael Harmon.

NEW YORK - While Mets fans anxiously await this season's stretch run, I wonder if the degree of success will have an impact on the team's radio situation. It seems to be under the radar that there still has been no announcement about Mets Radio after this season, when WFAN's contract runs out. My hunch is that WFAN will bid to keep the Mets, but only to a certain point that makes sense for them. I think that the Mets will expect increased revenue based on their going to a new stadium for next season, and they just might get it from WEPN which would bring MLB to ESPN's New York affiliate.

Yet I think that WFAN will have baseball in 2009, and be carrying a team that will open a new stadium. If the Mets broadcasts go elsewhere, look for CBS to move the Yankees games from WCBS over to WFAN. This would clear WCBS to return to true "all news", and keep WFAN with baseball broadcasts most nights. CBS Radio did a similar move in Chicago when they moved their Chicago Bears NFL broadcasts from the former WMAQ over to WBBM Radio for the duration of a previous contract.

On the football side, Giants fans get stumped for the Super Bowl champions' pre-season opener this Thursday (Aug. 7) in Detroit. WNYT Channel 13 has been forced to bump its scheduled telecast of the game due to NBC Network commitments. WNYT's original reponse is to air the game on its 13-3 digital channel. As if the relatively low percentage of people that can even get that channel would know where to find the game? Since this digital channel is not available at all on NYC area Time Warner systems, Time Warner cable TV's channel 3 will show the game.

Can't wait for the jokes on Friday about Giants fans in NYC tuning in to WNYT-TV for a Giants game and seeing "Last Comic Standing" instead. How quickly they forget the Super Bowl.....
In Detroit, the game airs live where it is supposed to, on its new pre-season TV station, WWJ-TV with CBS-TV's Gus Johnson on the call and former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard as analyst.

CHICAGO - Sports radio WSCR 670 "The Score" rounds out its revised late morning lineup starting Sept. 2nd, when new 10 AM to Noon host Lawrence Holmes will team up with former Chicago Bears standout Dan Hampton. Hampton had been a part of WGN Radio's Bears related programming for several years, even though WGN no longer carries the Bears broadcasts. But WGN Radio has discontinued its 3 hours of pre and post-game programming surrounding Bears games making Hampton available. The station's move of Mike Mulligan and Bryan Hanley to morning drive, replacing Mike North, made the Holmes-Hampton combination possible.

OKLAHOMA CITY - The new NBA team, formerly the Seattle SuperSonics, will be heard on 640 AM and 98.1 FM WWLS The Sports Animal starting a multi-year deal. The 24 hour sports station is already planning pre-game and post-game programming along with coach shows and a weekly NBA show. Matt Pinto, who comes to Oklahoma City after handling radio in Seattle, will be involved with OK City broadcasts, but his status is not definite, possibly since TV rights have not been awarded yet. Rumored play-by-play candiates include former TBS/TNT's Ron Thulin and Bob Carpenter, who has handled Oklahoma University hoops on TV in addition to his Washington Nationals duties.

DENVER - Winter sports teams on the move. Sports Radio 1510 AM becomes the new flagship station for both the Nuggets and the Avalanche starting this season. But there is a lot of work to be done and look for several related announcements over the next 4 weeks. The station has yet to name either broadcast team, leading to speculation of changes, nor where conflicting broadcasts will be heard.

ATLANTA - Braves catcher Brian McCann begins a weekly radio report on The Zone 790 AM, thanks to an exclusive local sponsor.

INDIANAPOLIS - WFNI 1070 AM came in 17th in the market in the recently released ratings, the station's first spring book since converting to all sports at the start of this year. This is one instance where it is too soon to judge. The first big test won't be until the fall ratings book comes out in January, showing listenership during the Colts season, along with Indiana University football season and the start of Pacers basketball season.
With no major league baseball team, and with the Indy 500 dominating for a couple weeks in May, the station has yet to have significant compelling reasons for local sports listenership.

MEMPHIS - ESPN Radio is movin' on up. As of this week, ESPN Radio in Memphis is heard on WSMB 680, and the stronger signal is expected to benefit compared with 730 AM's. KQPN 730 will remain all sports, and next door on the radio dial, and is already known as Fox Sports 730. WSMB continues as the Memphis radio home for University of Tennessee football and basketball.

RALEIGH - Extensive national play-by-play comes to 99.9 FM The Fan which has joined Westwood One. The Fan will broadcast national college football and basketball games whenever possible, along with NFL Sunday doubleheaders and Monday Night Football.

EUGENE - University of Oregon fans lose out in the latest round of cutbacks. KEZI-TV has dropped Ducks football telecasts, based on "too many restrictions" from the school's marketing deal with IMG. Yes, a college team is priced out, and costs some of the school's fans the opportunity to watch their team. No word yet on a new station. In other words, it will take a big bill for the Ducks.