Last week, the New York Islanders radio announcers Chris King and Steve Mears were told that they would not be back for the upcoming season. New voices? Nope. They were being replaced by Howie Rose and Bill Jaffe, the television announcers.
The simulcast is an interesting idea, having only been done before by the Buffalo Sabres and the Dallas Stars.
So will this become the next cost cutting move in journalism?
The Islanders move was easy because Cablevision owns the Madison Square Garden network, which owns the rights to the team’s radio and TV broadcast.
The question is, will sports radio stations consider negotiating with those that own the TV rights so that they can save money on paying the talent?
It might just come down to what the reaction is.
In general, radio broadcasts, not relying on pictures, are more descriptive. Will the television announcers adjust their calling style so that radio listeners aren’t frustrated? Obviously simulcasting an NFL or college football game is probably easier than a baseball game.
If it means significant savings, I suspect we’ll see more of this. The bottom line is the bottom line. No matter how much people might complain about lapses in the medium, I’m not sure they’ll really stop listening to their team because every once in a while they have to hear about the replay they can't see.
Update: We're told the Fan 590 tried it a few years ago with the Toronto Raptors and WBAL is doing a simulcast for their preseason games as they did last year.
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