Wednesday, January 12, 2005

WTEM and the Nats

Well, it looks like it's going to be SportsTalk 980 for the Nats Broadcasts. I have mixed feelings.

There's no one on that station who knows the first thing about baseball. They're probably not going to be able to casually dismiss the topic, like they do when they bring up the Caps or the Wizards.

Second, the station's signal has a lot of interference for some people. I know that sometimes at night, I get a loud electronic humming constantly, mixed with occasional blender-like static sounds--and I live in Alexandria. It's not like I'm in Indian Head.

According to the Times, they won't receive up-front rights fees, but a portion of the advertising sales. I don't know enough about the finances of broadcasting, but when the Orioles struck a similar deal several years ago, it was looked down upon.

I wonder if they'll turn it into a constant in-game commercial, much like the current Yankee broadcasts: "This two-strike pitch is brought to you by..." I can hope not. The constant in-game commercials really break up the relaxing flow of having the game on the radio. But, the quality of the broadcast really takes a backseat to the profits they can generate, so long as the listeners keep tuning in.