ESPN Radio Syracuse Adds Red Sox, Masters

March 29, 2010 by

SYRACUSE -- Two more pro sports adds to the lineup at The New ESPN Radio (WTLA/WSGO).  The stations, which include the two AMs and two FM translators (97.7 and 100.1) will be carrying all Boston Red Sox games this season, as well as The Masters Tournament.

In a press release, Galaxy says this is the first time any local radio station has provided coverage of all Red Sox games for an entire season.  Ed Levine, President and CEO of Galaxy Communications says, "This should make fans of both teams of the greatest rivalry in sports happy! Red Sox Nation will now hear their team play-by-play and diehard Yankee fans like myself can keep a close ear on 'the enemy.'"

That rivalry will begin on day one: the Red Sox open their season at home, against the Yankees, this coming Sunday.  First pitch is set for 8:05pm, while pregame coverage begins at 7:35.

And it won't just be a rivalry on the field at Fenway Park, but a rivalry amongst local broadcasters: while Sox radio broadcasters Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien call the game on the local ESPN Radio affiliates, Yankees broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will be heard on Clear Channel's Newsradio 570 WSYR, calling the same game from their own perspective.

Galaxy announced their ESPN stations will also carry The Masters Tournament live from April 8-11.  The tournament has been getting more media attention than usual this year, because it's where Tiger Woods is expected to return to golf, following some controversy in his personal life.

9 comments on “ESPN Radio Syracuse Adds Red Sox, Masters”

  1. Very good move by Galaxy to pick up the Red Sox. No local station has ever carried the Red Sox network before, so it's a bold move. The Red Sox are a good third choice after the Yankees and Mets. I suspect there is a story behind Galaxy's not picking up the Mets instead. My feeling is that there are more Mets fans than Red Sox fans locally, and the Mets network would interest people who want to hear National League games. Galaxy probably believes this too, and I suspect that there is problem with the Mets network that makes it hard to affiliate with. (A wild guess: maybe they want too much money.) I looked at the Mets radio network website, and they only have three stations on their network besides WFAN!

    Anyway, if there is any way they can get the Mets, 1260 ought to get it if they can. They wouldn't want it to wind up on WFBL or somewhere else. On a beautiful summer baseball day, any listener will choose a game over a Sporting News Radio yak-fest.

  2. If it's true that the Mets network wants too much money, 1260 or another station could still present National League games by affiliating with another National League club's network, maybe the Phillies or the Cubs. Better yet, they could affiliate with several with the understanding that they would only be taking some of the games, and then cherry-picking the best ones. The station would become the first choice for National League fans. They could get a lot of Mets games this way and avoid the Mets network if neccessary.

    Not only would this be a good strategy for 1260 or 1390, in my opinion it would also be good for 105.9. Frankly, a Cubs or Phillies game is more likely to get me to tune in than one more satellite talk show. Citadel could look at it as a way of taking the baseball-on-FM exclusivity away from 97.7.

  3. So what, if the Yankees and Red Sox play each other, we technically only have two sports stations in town that night? ... no, wait, then the Yankees would have to first be on a sports station. But it still amounts to pick your play-by-play.

    For what it's worth, the Mets were once carried on either WHEN or WSYR, but it was over 20 years ago.

  4. ITS GOOD TO KNOW ALL CHIEFS GAMES WILL BE ON 620 WITH NO YANKEES GAMES GETTING PRIORITY. RED SOX AND YANKEES BOTH SUCK. i dont understand one bit why 162 games of a team from massachutes would be on our dial. we dont hear even knicks games or giants games around here,., i dont care why or how popular the red sox are, this is syracuse ny. if one team around here deserves the FM dial and to be in both oswego and NY...ITS OUR TEAM THE SYRACUSE CHIEFS. did anyone know. that neither yankees or red sox have syracuse in there name. and that we live in syracuse and not nyc or boston..think about people.

  5. syrchiefs76 :

    if one team around here deserves the FM dial and to be in both oswego and NY…ITS OUR TEAM THE SYRACUSE CHIEFS.

    As reported in a newer story (click here), all Chiefs games this season will be carried -- on WHEN. No, that's not FM, but the Chiefs and WHEN have had an existing relationship for the past few seasons and it's possible (pure speculation) the contract may have prevented the Chiefs from moving to a different station.

    While my favorite team is neither the Yanks nor the Sox, you do have to admit, part of living in Syracuse is the fact that many people here ARE a fan of one team or the other, and it's a pretty intensive rivalry. Even though they aren't local, they are pretty heavily-followed. WSYR wouldn't continue to carry Yankees games year after year if nobody listened. It'll be interesting to see how well Galaxy does with Red Sox games.

    Peter McElvein :

    Better yet, they could affiliate with several with the understanding that they would only be taking some of the games, and then cherry-picking the best ones.

    Interesting idea at first glance, but I'm not sure how many teams would be willing to go for that kind of deal. Most teams do require affiliates to carry every single game. The only possible provisions might be for stations that only carry night games (for example, Rush Limbaugh affiliates who are forbidden from pre-empting him for weekday games). Of all the reasons, perhaps the biggest one is for a sales standpoint - guaranteeing advertisers their spots will run on the same number of stations, every game, all season.

    You also get into the complications of defining which games are the "best" ones. Your opinion may differ from the teams' opinions, and it just gets worse if two of the "best" games are happening at the same time. Not just a programming nightmare (and dealing with complaints from Team X's fans when you chose to run Team Z's game), but possibly a legal one as well.

  6. [...] ESPN Radio Syracuse Adds Red Sox ESPN Radio has a new affiliate in CNY, locally in Oswego on the FM dial at 100.1. In a bold move ownership of the local ESPN Radio affiliates decided to pull in the entire season of the Red Sox! So, on the radio dial around Central New York you have your choice of the Yankees (of course), The Syracuse Chiefs, and The Red Sox. There isn’t any local affiliate for the Mets.  The only way to hear the Mets is to wait until the sun sets and pull in WFAN directly from NYC. [...]

  7. I would think the "worst" games would be when the top team plays one that's miles out of first place, where even if they win it doesn't mean anything. Of course it's hard to know that until the season is well underway. As for the rest, you just guarantee them X number of games in the market with an escape clause for rain-outs.

    The thing with the Chiefs is, if I was that interested in their games, I would go down and see them play, at least when they're at home. Would think that having them on a big signal will cut into attendance a bit, not as much as if they were on TV, but if I can keep up with them without having to go to the games, I'm probably going to try and save a buck and not go to as many games. While WHEN is not FM, it actually carries further than most of our FM stations, and should be able to be picked up inside buildings and so forth without too much trouble.

    WHEN/WSYR/Clearchannel does have a potential conflict of any Chiefs or Yankees day games on the same day during the week, since WSYR never pre-empts Rush or Reith (until 6).

    No Mets here isn't that surprising given they also passed up the chance to have the Chiefs be an affiliated team a couple years or so back. Thanks for the correction on when the Mets aired here. I don't know why I remember that as WSYR - but it was a looong time ago.

  8. I remember WFBL carrying a few Mets games 2-3 years ago when it flipped to talk the first time around. I think it was the tail end of either the 2006 or 2007 season.

    It could indeed be that WFAN is charging an arm and a leg to Mets affiliates. Also, I am not 100% sure as to whether the WFAN Mets network is even automated, like the Yankees network is. There's no way a small-market station is going to pay for the Mets games AND pay a board-op to run them. Granted, they could try to have unpaid interns do it, but good luck getting coverage for 162 games.

    Let's not forget the on-the-field product. The Yankees will ALWAYS be a safe bet. You know that 9 years out of every 10, they'll be in contention for at least the wild card, if not the AL East crown and beyond. It's a low-risk investment for affiliates, and that's probably why there are so many of them. The Red Sox aren't too far behind in terms of consistent success.

    The Mets, on the other hand, who knows what you get from year to year. Postseason? Historic choke jobs? 90 losses? That's all happened in the last 4 seasons, and it's enough to make any radio GM skittish on investing in one season of Mets baseball, let alone 3 or 4. 1984-1990 was the greatest era in Mets history, and I'd imagine that was also when they had the most radio affiliates.


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