The excitement in Nashville about the Predators making it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history also makes a positive story about the significance of a team's games airing on an all sports station.
The Game 102.5 has the time and ability to provide the extensive and expanded coverage that fits the circumstances. The station aired the Game 7 between Pittsburgh and Ottawa which set the finals between the Penguins and Predators (which begin on Monday May 29th). This is in addition to being able to focus on the Finals throughout its local talk shows. As an ESPN affiliate, the station will air NBA Finals games which, obviously, do not conflict with the NHL, along with Sunday Night Baseball and other ESPN Radio play-by-play.
On the national level, ESPN has extended the contract of Dick Vitale to continue as the lead college basketball analyst through the 2019-20 season, which will be his 41st season with the network.
Also, after cutting some of its NFL analysts, ESPN has added coach Chip Kelly as, according to the announcement, both a college and NFL analyst.
DETROIT: The Pistons have realized their mistake and are moving their radio broadcasts back to the highly rated WXYT-FM 97.1 The TIcket starting with the 2017-18 NBA season. They want to sell more tickets, since the team moves into its new arena as well. This comes after four seasons on WMGC-FM 105.1, which was "The Game" sports radio when the Pistons first moved there.
However, The Game never put a dent into The Ticket and eventually bagged the sports format in favor of hip-hop while continuing to air the Pistons. With the move back to 97.1 The Ticket, it puts the team back in the radio spotlight. However, the Pistons are now the low team on the pole, as they will lose out on the many conflicts The Ticket has with airing the Tigers and Red Wings as well.
On a positive note, the conflicting games will air on WWJ 950, which is a sister station with excellent ratings, and which has carried local play-by-play over the years. In fact, WWJ and WXYT-FM were the market's top two rated radio stations during the most recent Nielsen ratings for April 2017. It will be a much better situation than being stuck on WXYT-AM 1270 which barely shows up the ratings.
Also in Detroit, the sad news is that Wayne Walker, the former all-pro with the Lions and long time broadcaster, passed away this week at the age of 80. In addition to his analyst role for CBS, Walker also served as Sports Director of KPIX San Francisco from 1979 to 1994.
LAS VEGAS: The new Golden Knights have arranged for every game to be televised from the beginning of the franchise with a new agreement for ROOT Sports to air the games. A big part of the reason for going with ROOT Sports is the regional network opportunity which includes parts of Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and sections of Arizona and Colorado which are considered broadcast territory by the NHL.
However, ROOT is currently not available on Cox Cable or CenturyLink. The team says it is already in negotiations with those and other systems to get the games shown. ROOT Sports will be able to air every game it can, other than any on NBC or exclusively on NBCSN.
We expect the team's first home game to air on NBCSN, although the schedule won't be available for several weeks.