SBD/August 19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

MLB Radio Broadcasts See Drop-In Ads Become More Prevalent To Offset Rights Costs

Drop-in ads in sports have "proliferated in recent years as radio stations have tried to offset the rising costs of broadcast rights," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. The baseball radio broadcast now is "laden with paid advertisements for everything from the umpire lineup to the postgame wrap-up." TV games have "similarly been infiltrated, but not all of their drop-ins are read aloud." The phenomenon is "most pronounced in Yankees broadcasts." The first Yankees walk of the game prompts the line, "Just walk into any of CityMD’s six convenient locations." The announcement of the game’s umpires is "brought to you by Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, a law firm specializing in asbestos exposure cases." Law firm Cellino & Barnes "gets a plug when the announcers explain the broadcast’s copyright violation policy." A call to the bullpen "comes with a nod to one of three sponsors: Aamco Car Care, Hyundai and the Tri-State Ford Dealers." The postgame show is "brought to you, naturally, by Reynolds Wrap." Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner said, "They’re not tough to do, but does it feel like it slows the pace of the game? Of course it does." Phillies broadcaster Scott Franzke said, "You realize that they’re there to pay for the broadcast. So I’m certainly not begrudging that. But you still want some integrity in the broadcast." CBS Radio "has been using drop-ins on Yankee games for at least a decade," and a few years ago the company "capped their use at current levels." Former CBS Radio Chair & CEO Joel Hollander, who also ran WFAN-AM, said that the "quantity of WCBS’s in-game advertising on Yankee games was directly related to the rights fee it paid" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/19).
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