The Catskills is a serene, halcyon mountain range and popular vacation destination because of the preservation and picturesque nature of the landscape. Oftentimes, the luxurious resorts and hotels located along the Borscht Belt attract a preponderance of the area’s approximately 2.7 million visitors per year coming from all corners of the United States and the world to relax and unwind. Not for Ian Eagle though.
His mother, Monica, was a singer and an actress while his father Jack was a standup comedian, musician, and actor who portrayed Brother Dominic in Xerox commercials in the late-70s. For the first several years of his life, Eagle would be their travel companion watching his parents work hard along the Borscht Belt to make a living by performing their act in front of large audiences on weekends. Additionally, at the end of each act, Eagle himself would make an appearance in a suit complete with a bowtie to perform impressions of famous public figures to the crowd – including comedian W.C. Fields, boxer Muhammad Ali and sportscaster Howard Cosell.
After several years of traveling to the Catskills to perform, Eagle remembers his father asking him what he wanted to do when he grew up. With his roots ingrained in live performance, Eagle enjoyed watching athletes perform their craft at sporting events, most notably the New York Mets who were just a drive away from his hometown of Forest Hills, N.Y. at Shea Stadium. Yet while there, he would not only watch the game but also observe the announcers from afar while they were at work in the press box, noticing their mannerisms and countenances from which he was taken aback. At the age of 8, Eagle realized his dream to become a professional sportscaster and was given encouragement and motivation by his parents to fully pursue it.
“A career that was outside the box was very much encouraged and the reasons behind it were pretty simple,” Eagle said. “I love sports and I started to get fascinated by the announcers. Play-by-play, anchors, radio, television…. As a young kid, something about it resonated with me and the idea that I could do it for a living was beyond my wildest dreams.”
Albert graduated from Syracuse University and is one of the school’s many alumni to successfully work in sports media. It inspired Eagle to attend the school to study journalism. Bearing the hallway walls around the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications while Eagle was an undergraduate student were photos of some of them, including Bob Costas, Dick Stockton, and Marty Glickman.
While the reputation of the school and its powerful alumni network can seem polarizing to some students, it served as a source of inspiration for Eagle to elevate his craft and take advantage of opportunities to make a name for himself in the industry. It is in part thanks to successful broadcasters such as Eagle, along with Mike Tirico, Beth Mowins, and Sean McDonough that the school remains a coveted destination for those looking to foster a career in sports media, and was recently ranked as the top sports broadcasting school in the country by the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America.
“At the time in the mid-80s when I was looking for a school that I could pursue broadcasting, one university kept popping up and it was Syracuse,” Eagle said. “….I think more than anything else the fact that there were going to be others like me that had an aptitude for this and a passion for it; I wanted to be pushed. I wanted to be amongst other people that were interested in doing this.”
Eagle was a member of WAER, the school’s student-run radio station, and served as the play-by-play announcer for Syracuse Orangemen lacrosse, football and basketball games. While there, he continued to gain a more complete understanding of what it took to succeed in the field, beginning to truly become invested in it by his sophomore year. By the end of his senior year, he won the Bob Costas Award for Outstanding Sportscasting – for which he received a $1,000 cash prize from Costas himself – and in 2013, was inducted as the fourth member of the WAER Hall of Fame.
Broadcasting live sporting events was the primary part of the field Eagle was looking to work in – until the year 1987 when he began to hear of WFAN, the first-ever radio station solely broadcasting the sports talk format 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By the summer of 1989, Eagle was an intern at the station at the same time when plans for Mike and the Mad Dog were being finalized by then-program director Mark Mason. Upon completing his internship, Eagle felt as if he gained esoteric knowledge of what it took to work in sports media, and was eager to return to his home market upon his graduation.
“Pre-internet – there was no substitution for actually getting the experience,” Eagle stated. “You couldn’t just look it up and google it and watch a video. You had to actually go in and do it. It’s not as if the responsibilities were necessarily putting me in a position to now do more. It had more to do with observing and being around it and being in the environment watching the sports anchor work.”
Despite being told he would likely not be able to get on the air out of college working at WFAN, he took the station’s job offer as a producer over two hosting jobs in West Virginia and nearby Buffalo, N.Y. after graduating from Syracuse University in 1990. Working alongside Howie Rose during his 7 p.m. to midnight radio show, Eagle continued to observe the professionals around him and what it took to do an entertaining radio show conducive to attaining favorable ratings and revenue.
“I took it… with the idea that it was going to be like graduate school that I was going to be at a place where I eventually wanted to one day work in an on-air capacity,” Eagle said of accepting a job at WFAN, “but I would take the experience that I had from the previous summer and expand it to really understand all aspects of the radio station and what it made it tick. It was a risk; there were no guarantees given to me.”
Just 15 months later, Eagle sat behind the microphone and delivered his first on-air sports update and from there began hosting his own talk show shortly thereafter called Bagels and Baseball. In 1993, he added to his responsibilities by hosting the pregame and postgame shows for the station’s broadcasts of New York Jets football. Part of being a well-informed broadcaster comes with reading sports coverage from both local and national journalism outlets, one of which is The New York Post.
Phil Mushnick, the publication’s television and radio columnist since 1982, broke the story that the New Jersey Nets’ radio announcer Howard David would not return for the 1994-95 season, instead relocating to Milwaukee to work in the same role for the Bucks. While sitting in an editing suite at WFAN’s Kaufman Astoria studios, Eagle, who was 25 years old at the time, vividly remembers reading the article and quickly recognizing the opportunity that had just opened up in front of him and the potential it had to change his career.
“I submitted a tape from a Syracuse-Seton Hall game I did in my senior year at the Meadowlands,” Eagle said of the initial reel he submitted with his job application. “They liked it enough to call me and ask me for more play-by-play – which I did not have. That was it; that was the extent of the play-by-play.”
Eagle had to be innovative and remembered he had a friend working for NBA Entertainment in Secaucus, N.J. who helped him create a tape complete with ambient sound and high-quality audio of Eagle calling one half of a playoff game between the Nets and the New York Knicks off of a monitor. He was then quickly scheduled for an interview with Jon Spoelstra, the president of the Nets, as part of the final phase of the search. Once he conversed with him, Eagle was off to the airport for a planned trip to San Francisco with his wife to celebrate their first wedding anniversary and eagerly awaiting the outcome of a monumental decision.
“I had to call into my home answering machine to see if there were any messages,” Eagle recalls. “There was a message from Amy Scheer – [the Nets’ director of broadcasting] – to give her a call. I did from a payphone and I was told that I was being hired as the radio voice of the Nets.”
Paired with Mike O’Koren, Eagle broadcast games on the radio for the 1994-95 season, an opportunity that gave him his first professional sports broadcasting experience. Little did he realize in the beginning though that it would only last for one year, as he was replaced by Steve Albert, Marv’s younger brother, the very next season. But it was not for poor performance; rather, Eagle joined SportsChannel to call Nets games on television, a change in platforms and thus announcing style. Despite the differences between the two platforms though, Eagle was easily able to adapt his style to fit the needs of the audience, however, it may be consuming the game.
“I think part of the reason why I transitioned so easily to television is that I hadn’t been doing radio play-by-play for that long,” Eagle said. “I was not stuck in my ways [and] I didn’t have any habits that I had to break. It really was just an adjustment of how you approach the game.”
Eagle, through his meticulous preparation, promptly showcased his talent on the new medium and ability to heighten the quality of the production at large. He holds a television play-by-play role with the team to this day, following the organization during its move to the YES Network in 2002 and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. one decade later.
“I try to be a student of this so whatever my assignment is I immersed myself in it and I did everything in my power to prepare for what the season on television would feel like,” said Eagle, who partner Charles Davis recently called “so brilliant”. “….On television, it’s all about setting up your partner, being a very good traffic cop, and delivering in the moment. On radio, you’ve got a blank canvas [and] it’s up to you to fill it in the way that you see fit.”
Two years into his new role with the Nets, WFAN named him the play-by-play announcer for the New York Jets, meaning he would be balancing calling different sports on different broadcast mediums for the first time in his career. Once again one year into this job, Eagle moved from radio to television, this time shifting from regional to national broadcasts with CBS Sports (and was ironically replaced by the aforementioned Howard David). Additionally, he also added NCAA basketball to his responsibilities, meaning he was closely following and calling college basketball, the NBA, and the NFL all at once. As a result, getting and staying ahead in terms of preparation was crucial, and making sure he was ready to execute for every game – just as he saw his parents do in the days and weeks leading up to their weekend performances.
“This job is a marriage of preparation and performance,” Eagle affirmed. “If your preparation is not up to par, it will affect your performance. If your performance is not at the level that it’s supposed to be when the game starts, then all your preparation means very little. You have to get to a point when doing play-by-play that you consistently produce at a certain level and a certain standard. Every person sets that bar for themselves.”
The games themselves are different in the sense that the pace and flow of the broadcast are often dictated by the action in which there are usually more pauses in the action in football than in basketball. As a result, it is incumbent on Eagle and the rest of the broadcast team to be aware of what is going on in the game and to prioritize highlighting and covering it. What not to do is to render it a platform in which an individual seeks to gain notoriety by frequently talking about themselves.
“The pace of basketball doesn’t allow you to share as many stories [or] personal tidbits – you’ve got to be really economical in how you share information,” Eagle said. “Football is set up in a way [where], because of the rhythm of it, there are obvious spots where you can pepper the broadcast with nuggets and factoids and stories.”
Still, moving from being a regionally-focused broadcaster to one who is calling both regional and national games certainly requires a shift in parlance. After all, the national audience is often broader in terms of rooting interest than a regional one, at least when referring to linear distribution rather than viewing on OTT or streaming platforms.
Since joining CBS Sports, Eagle has called numerous NFL and NCAA basketball games, including playoff and tournament battles which can sometimes be decided on the final play. Additionally, he calls Thursday night NFL games and part of the NCAA regional finals tournament on the radio for Westwood One Sports and also calls national NBA and NCAA games for Turner Sports. Yet the divide between regional and national games is becoming more blurred thanks to the evolution in technology that permits the rapid sharing of multimedia-based content across multiple platforms regardless of their streaming capability or lack thereof, sometimes causing a moment to lose its context.
Nonetheless, any broadcaster needs to be able to build a rapport with their audience which usually either comes through previous knowledge of their work or simply by listening to them on-air. It cannot be forced and is not usually instantaneous either.
“The biggest difference in my experience is allowing your personality to come through,” Eagle said. “It took me a while to get to the point where I trusted myself on national games whereas previously on local telecasts, I would probably be a little freer with my commentary. I’m finally getting there on the national side.”
The art of play-by-play announcing, even amid a new generation of sports media, has not considerably shifted; rather, networks and other media providers are trying new approaches to bringing the game to consumers. Whether it be through alternate broadcasts, new camera angles, or user-enabled interactivity during the games, there is always room for innovation, and the same goes for methods of announcing. In the end, though, ratings and revenue will usually be determinants as to whether certain permutations can move out of the experiential stage towards becoming a normal practice; notwithstanding the fundamentals of the job will always somewhat be present.
“I think the principles of doing play-by-play are the same,” Eagle said. “Are you informative? Are you entertaining? Are you a conduit for the fan from the event to the television screen or the car radio? That hasn’t changed and I don’t think that will ever change. There’s something still very pure about that.”
Marv Albert was a sportscaster who Eagle sought to emulate as he worked his way up in the industry, and he fortunately had a chance to work with him when he joined the Nets as an announcer on television in 2005. As a result, Eagle was the secondary announcer beginning that year and lasting until 2010. Being able to be around him while they both worked for the YES Network gave Eagle a firsthand look at his preparation and on-air performance.
“By the time he was working at YES, I had certainly established myself and had a clear idea of what kind of play-by-play announcer I wanted to be,” Eagle said of Albert. “But you’re always learning and you’re a student of this your entire career. You never attain a perfect broadcast – it can’t happen – but you can try. Each game you try to improve.”
Across the country about 2,800 miles away, Ian Eagle’s son Noah is working as the radio play-by-play announcer for the NBA’s LA Clippers. Throughout his youth, Noah Eagle would observe his father at work, sometimes even attending games with him and sitting next to him throughout a broadcast. Like his father, he attended college at Syracuse University and was a member of WAER, and he became just the second Syracuse University graduate to transition from broadcasting in college to doing so right in the NBA – the first being Greg Papa, the radio play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco 49ers and host of Papa and Lund on KNBR. He debuted at just 22 years old at the start of the 2019-20 season and has been in the role ever since.
“The fact that he was even interested in doing this is the ultimate compliment as a father,” Ian Eagle said. “The fact that he has found success; I think he paid attention to detail growing up…. Osmosis definitely played a part in this. The fact that he is passionate about improving and working on his craft and working with others. It’s been a thrill – a true thrill.”
Sometimes, aspiring professionals attend a prominent sports broadcasting college such as Syracuse University expecting that through their enrollment and time at the school, they will be able to instantaneously land a job in the industry. Sure, having a vast alumni network and experienced professors at the helm undoubtedly gives students in these settings an advantage, but the field has become so competitive that it takes working hard and making connections in order to truly get started.
Quite simply, versatility and interpersonal skills are considerably valued in many fields today – sports media included – and everything you need to know cannot be attained simply by listening to lectures and doing class projects. You have to be “the full package” in this industry according to Eagle, which means putting forth a sustained effort in the quest to hone the skills you have while developing new ones along the way.
“You have to go out and do it,” Eagle said. “It’s one thing to dream about being on the air one day; it’s another thing to actually pull the microphone in your hand or put a camera in front of your face and deliver. That takes work; it takes practice; it takes hours upon hours upon hours of polishing your skills.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, Derek serves as a production manager, broadcaster, voiceover artist, technical director, audiovisual editor, and media engineer for Hofstra University’s WRHU. He has also worked on New York Islanders radio broadcasts. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @DerekFutterman.
The Future Is Now, Embrace Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+
As annoying as streaming sports is and as much as I haven’t fully adapted to the habit yet, Amazon and Apple have done a magnificent job of trying to make the process as easy and simplified as possible.
This week has been a reckoning for sports and its streaming future on Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+, ESPN+, and more.
Amazon announced that Thursday Night Football, which averaged 13 million viewers, generated the highest number of U.S. sign ups over a three hour period in the app’s history. More people in the United States subscribed to Prime during the September 15th broadcast than they did during Black Friday, Prime Day, and Cyber Monday. It was also “the most watched night of primetime in Prime Video’s history,” according to Amazon executive Jay Marine. The NFL and sports in general have the power to move mountains even for some of the nation’s biggest and most successful brands.
This leads us to the conversation happening surrounding Aaron Judge’s chase for history. Judge has been in pursuit of former major leaguer Roger Maris’ record for the most home runs hit during one season in American League history.
The sports world has turned its attention to the Yankees causing national rights holders such as ESPN, Fox, and TBS to pick up extra games in hopes that they capture the moment history is made. Apple TV+ also happened to have a Yankees game scheduled for Friday night against the Red Sox right in the middle of this chase for glory.
Baseball fans have been wildin’ out at the prospects of missing the grand moment when Judge passes Maris or even the moments afterwards as Judge chases home run number 70 and tries to truly create monumental history of his own. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand has even reported there were talks between YES, MLB, and Apple to bring Michael Kay into Apple’s broadcast to call the game, allow YES Network to air its own production of the game, or allow YES Network to simulcast Apple TV+’s broadcast. In my opinion, all of this hysteria is extremely bogus.
As annoying as streaming sports is and as much as I haven’t fully adapted to the habit yet, Amazon and Apple have done a magnificent job of trying to make the process as easy and simplified as possible. Amazon brought in NBC to help with production of TNF and if you watch the flow of the broadcast, the graphics of the broadcast, NBC personalities like Michael Smith, Al Michaels, and Terry McAuliffe make appearances on the telecast – it is very clear that the network’s imprint is all over the show.
NBC’s experience in conducting the broadcast has made the viewing experience much more seamless. Apple has also used MLB Network and its personalities for assistance in ensuring there’s no major difference between what you see on air vs. what you’re streaming.
Amazon and Apple have also decided to not hide their games behind a paywall. Since the beginning of the season, all of Apple’s games have been available free of charge. No subscription has ever been required. As long as you have an Apple device and can download Apple TV+, you can watch their MLB package this season.
Guess what? Friday’s game against the Red Sox is also available for free on your iPhone, your laptop, or your TV simply by downloading the AppleTV app. Amazon will also simulcast all Thursday Night Football games on Twitch for free. It may be a little harder or confusing to find the free options, but they are out there and they are legal and, once again, they are free.
Apple has invested $85 million into baseball, money that will go towards your team becoming better hypothetically. They’ve invested money towards creating a new kind of streaming experience. Why in the hell would they offer YES Network this game for free? There’s no better way for them to drive subscriptions to their product than by offering fans a chance at watching history on their platform.
A moment like this are the main reason Apple paid for rights in the first place. When Apple sees what the NFL has done for Amazon in just one week and coincidentally has the ability to broadcast one of the biggest moments in baseball history – it would be a terrible business decision to let viewers watch it outside of the Apple ecosystem and lose the ability to gain new fans.
It’s time for sports fans to grow up and face reality. Streaming is here to stay.
MLB Network is another option
If you don’t feel like going through the hassle of watching the Yankees take on the Red Sox for free on Apple TV+, MLB Network will also air all of Judge’s at bats live as they are happening. In case the moment doesn’t happen on Apple TV+ on Friday night, Judge’s next games will air in full on MLB Network (Saturday), ESPN (Sunday), MLB Network again (Monday), TBS (Tuesday) and MLB Network for a third time on Wednesday. All of MLB Network’s games will be simulcast of YES Network’s local New York broadcast. It wouldn’t shock me to see Fox pick up another game next Thursday if the pursuit still maintains national interest.
- One of the weirdest things about the experience of streaming sports is that you lose the desire to channel surf. Is that a good thing or bad thing? Brandon Ross of LightShed Ventures wonders if the difficulty that comes with going from app to app will help Amazon keep viewers on TNF the entire time no matter what the score of the game is. If it does, Amazon needs to work on developing programming to surround the games or start replaying the games, pre and post shows so that when you fall asleep and wake up you’re still on the same stream on Prime Video or so that coming to Prime Video for sports becomes just as much of a habit for fans as tuning in to ESPN is.
- CNN has announced the launch of a new morning show with Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins. Variety reports, “Two people familiar with plans for the show say it is likely to use big Warner Bros. properties — a visit from the cast of HBO’s Succession or sports analysis from TNT’s NBA crew — to lure eyeballs.” It’ll be interesting to see if Turner Sports becomes a cornerstone of this broadcast. Will the NBA start doing schedule releases during the show? Will a big Taylor Rooks interview debut on this show before it appears on B/R? Will the Stanley Cup or Final Four MVP do an interview on CNN’s show the morning after winning the title? Does the show do remote broadcasts from Turner’s biggest sports events throughout the year?
- The Clippers are back on over the air television. They announced a deal with Nexstar to broadcast games on KTLA and other Nexstar owned affiliates in California. The team hasn’t reached a deal to air games on Bally Sports SoCal or Bally Sports Plus for the upcoming season. Could the Clippers pursue a solo route and start their own OTT service in time for the season? Are they talking to Apple, Amazon, or ESPN about a local streaming deal? Is Spectrum a possible destination? I think these are all possibilities but its likely that the Clippers end up back on Bally Sports since its the status quo. I just find it interesting that it has taken so long to solidify an agreement and that it wasn’t announced in conjunction with the KTLA deal. The Clippers are finally healthy this season, moving into a new arena soon, have the technology via Second Spectrum to produce immersive game casts. Maybe something is brewing?
- ESPN’s Monday Night Football double box was a great concept. The execution sucked. Kudos to ESPN for adjusting on the fly once complaints began to lodge across social media. I think the double box works as a separate feed. ESPN2 should’ve been the home to the double box. SVP and Stanford Steve could’ve held a watch party from ESPN’s DC studio with special guests. The double box watch party on ESPN2 could’ve been interrupted whenever SVP was giving an update on games for ESPN and ABC. It would give ESPN2 a bit of a behind the scenes look at how the magic happens similarly to what MLB Tonight did last week. Credit to ESPN and the NFL for experimenting and continuing to try and give fans unique experiences.
Jessie Karangu is a columnist for BSM and graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland but comes from Kenyan roots. Jessie has had a passion for sports media and the world of television since he was a child. His career has included stints with USA Today, Tegna, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sightline Media. He can be found on Twitter @JMKTVShow.
ESPN Shows Foresight With Monday Night Football Doubleheader Timing
ESPN is obviously testing something, and it’s worth poking around at why the network wouldn’t follow the schedule it has used for the last 16 years, scheduling kickoffs at 7 and then 10 on their primary channel.
The Monday Night Football doubleheader was a little bit different this time around for ESPN.
First, it came in Week 2 instead of Week 1. And then, the games were staggered 75 minutes apart on two different channels, the Titans and Bills beginning on ESPN at 7:15 PM ET and the Vikings at the Eagles starting at 8:30 PM on ABC and ESPN+. This was a departure from the usual schedule in which the games kicked off at 7:00 PM ET and then 10:00 PM ET with the latter game on the West Coast.
ESPN is obviously testing something, and it’s worth poking around at why the network wouldn’t follow the schedule it has used for the last 16 years, scheduling kickoffs at 7:00 PM and then 10:00 PM ET on their primary channel. That’s the typical approach, right? The NFL is the most valuable offering in all of sports and ESPN would have at least six consecutive hours of live programming without any other game to switch to.
Instead, they staggered the starts so the second game kicked off just before the first game reached halftime. They placed the games on two different channels, which risked cannibalizing their audience. Why? Well, it’s the same reason that ESPN was so excited about the last year’s Manningcast that it’s bringing it back for 10 weeks this season. ESPN is not just recognizing the reality of how their customers behave, but they’re embracing it.
Instead of hoping with everything they have that the customer stays in one place for the duration of the game, they’re recognizing the reality that they will leave and providing another product within their portfolio to be a destination when they do.
It’s the kind of experiment everyone in broadcasting should be investigating because, for all the talk about meeting the customer where they are, we still tend to be a little bit stubborn about adapting to what they do.
Customers have more choices than ever when it comes to media consumption. First, cable networks softened the distribution advantages of broadcast networks, and now digital offerings have eroded the distribution advantages of cable networks. It’s not quite a free-for-all, but the battle for viewership is more intense, more wide open than ever because that viewer has so many options of not just when and where but how they will consume media.
Programmers have a choice in how to react to this. On the one hand, they can hold on tighter to the existing model and try to squeeze as much out of it as they can. If ESPN was thinking this way it would stack those two Monday night games one after the other just like it always has and hope like hell for a couple of close games to juice the ratings. Why would you make it impossible for your customer to watch both of these products you’ve paid so much to televise?
I’ve heard radio programmers and hosts recite take this same approach for more than 10 years now when it comes to making shows available on-demand. Why would you give your customers the option of consuming the product in a way that’s not as remunerative or in a way that is not measured?
That thinking is outdated and it is dangerous from an economic perspective because it means you’re trying to make the customer behave in your best interest by restricting their choices. And maybe that will work. Maybe they like that program enough that they’ll consume it in the way you’d prefer or maybe they decide that’s inconvenient or annoying or they decide to try something else and now this customer who would have listened to your product in an on-demand format is choosing to listen to someone else’s product entirely.
After all, you’re the only one that is restricting that customer’s choices because you’re the only one with a desire to keep your customer where he is. Everyone else is more than happy to give your customer something else.
There’s a danger in holding on too tightly to the existing model because the tighter you squeeze, the more customers will slip through your fingers, and if you need a physical demonstration to complete this metaphor go grab a handful of sand and squeeze it hard.
Your business model is only as good as its ability to predict the behavior of your customers, and as soon as it stops doing that, you need to adjust that business model. Don’t just recognize the reality that customers today will exercise the freedom that all these media choices provide, embrace it.
Offer more products. Experiment with more ways to deliver those products. The more you attempt to dictate the terms of your customer’s engagement with your product, the more customers you’ll lose, and by accepting this you’ll open yourself to the reality that if your customer is going to leave your main offering, it’s better to have them hopping to another one of your products as opposed to leaving your network entirely.
Think in terms of depth of engagement, and breadth of experience. That’s clearly what ESPN is doing because conventional thinking would see the Manningcast as a program that competes with the main Monday Night Football broadcast, that cannibalizes it. ESPN sees it as a complimentary experience. An addition to the main broadcast, but it also has the benefit that if the customer feels compelled to jump away from the main broadcast – for whatever reason – it has another ESPN offering that they may land on.
I’ll be watching to see what ESPN decides going forward. The network will have three Monday Night Football doubleheaders beginning next year, and the game times have not been set. Will they line them up back-to-back as they had up until this year? If they do it will be a vote of confidence that its traditional programming approach that evening is still viable. But if they overlap those games going forward, it’s another sign that less is not more when it comes to giving your customers a choice in products.
Danny O’Neil is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously hosted morning and afternoon drive for 710 ESPN Seattle, and served as a reporter for the Seattle Times. He can be reached on Twitter @DannyOneil or by email at Danny@DannyOneil.com.
Media Noise: Sunday Ticket Has Problems, Marcellus Wiley Does Not
On this episode of Media Noise, Demetri is joined by Brian Noe to talk about the wild year FS1’s Marcellus Wiley has had and by Garrett Searight to discuss the tumultuous present and bright future of NFL Sunday Ticket.
Demetri Ravanos is the Assistant Content Director for Barrett Sports Media. He hosts the Chewing Clock and Media Noise podcasts. He occasionally fills in on stations across the Carolinas. Previous stops include WAVH and WZEW in Mobile, AL, WBPT in Birmingham, AL and WBBB, WPTK and WDNC in Raleigh, NC. You can find him on Twitter @DemetriRavanos and reach him by email at DemetriTheGreek@gmail.com.