SBD/Issue 20/Sports Media

Islanders Nearing Rights Deal With Hofstra Univ. Radio Station

WRHU May Broadcast Isles' Games
From 470-Watt Radio Station

The Islanders are on the verge of "forming one of the odder media partnerships in professional sports," reportedly teaming with Hofstra Univ.'s WRHU-FM for radio broadcasts of the team's games, according to Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. Former Islanders VP/Media Relations Chris Botta reported on his blog the team is "close to a deal" with the on-campus WRHU ahead of Saturday's season-opener against the Stars. WRHU is a 470-watt station; by contrast, Rangers games are broadcast on ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y., a 50,000-watt station. The agreement with WRHU would "give the Islanders a chance to save money because Hofstra students would serve as intermission hosts, sideline reporters and perhaps color commentators." They also reportedly would "handle some of the engineering and production." It is unclear, however, "how closely the students would work with Chris King, the Islanders’ main radio broadcaster." Belson notes "most teams pay radio stations to carry their games," though it is "unclear how much the Islanders might pay Hofstra." For the past two seasons, Islanders games were carried by the Long Island Radio Group, which broadcast night games on WMJC-FM and day games on WHLI-AM (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8). On Long Island, Neil Best notes the Islanders last season "frustrated many fans by eliminating their radio announcers and simulcasting audio of the television account on radio," but the WRHU deal would "end that arrangement" (NEWSDAY, 10/8).

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