Stuck in traffic, flipping dials to find out that radio stations are contracted to broadcast local sports teams – including small colleges and minor league hockey – can frustrate the sports fan who is used to hearing sports talk on these same stations.
The controversies have swirled like never before. There have been big ones in the past, but not so many all at once.
If given an option of listening to an MLB game or listening to sports talk, the more entertaining option is sports talk. As things are now, a baseball game moves too slow to compete.
It may not be baseball’s fault. The sports news cycle is hard to give up.
Sports junkies have a tough time ignoring the chatter. Everything moves so quickly with possible trades, free agency talk, playoff scenarios, drafts, hall of fame banter, fantasy play, and endless speculation on everything.
A baseball game on the radio doesn’t compare to the NBA or NFL on radio, either. ESPN has made its mark on the NBA with Jack Ramsay and his analysis, and the NFL can be a fun listen on Westwood One, especially with Kevin Harlan.
Perhaps baseball will be more relevant after the NBA season, but the sport’s pace could be part of the problem. Important games and broadcasts late in the 8th or 9th innings is when baseball matters and a switch on the radio dial is less likely.
Capitalism always wins out in the end. If ratings don’t prove that baseball broadcasts are worth it, radio station general managers will dump them in favor of more sports talk. It’s that simple and also applies to all the other broadcasts of minor league, college, and high school sports.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com