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Does Bad Blood Linger Between The Mets and WFAN?

Jason Barrett

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For the past three years and counting, New York Mets players have not appeared on WFAN in New York, unless it was part of a paid appearance by a company to pitch a product. Given the team’s challenges of selling tickets, and bringing eyes and ears to their broadcasts, it’s certainly a curious decision.

In the New York Daily News, WFAN Programming boss Mark Chernoff says that the radio station would still like to bring Mets players, and executives on the air, but Mets COO Jeff Wilpon has told him that WOR (The Mets’ flagship station) doesn’t want players appearing on WFAN. The two stations do have enough of a relationship to use each other’s audio highlights.

As the Daily News points out, it is interesting that the Mets wouldn’t get more involved to make sure their organization was promoted in the best way possible. The team spent twenty years in a radio rights relationship with FAN, and are well aware of the station’s muscle with New York sports radio listeners.

Is the decision due to WFAN electing to drop the Mets in favor of carrying the New York Yankees? Possibly. Last week, Mike Francesa suggested the Mets should have already gotten over any “bad feeling” they had toward the radio station. He claimed two years earlier that the Mets organization were a bunch of “jackasses,” and that the radio station had lost money because the team stunk for the past decade.

Despite the damaged relationship, it’d make sense for both sides to cooperate with one another. The Mets aren’t going to receive promotion during the day from their flagship station since WOR airs Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and neither focus their programming on sports. WFAN meanwhile has the ability to sell the team’s stars to local fans, and help the franchise sell more tickets, and merchandise, and generate more ratings for their play by play.

The real question is, are the Mets wise enough to brush personal feelings aside to do what’s best for business. Or is hurting WFAN and limiting the team’s exposure worth it to send a broader message to CBS New York management.

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Stoney & Jansen Baffled By NBA Finals TV Schedule

“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast. We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”

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Courtesy: Audacy

The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final continue with games taking place this weekend, and many basketball and hockey fans are expected to tune in to watch the action. The Denver Nuggets will try to take a 3-1 series lead on the Miami Heat, while the Vegas Golden Knights will look to rebound from an overtime loss to return home one win away from a championship. Aside from the pomp and circumstance, there is considerable intrigue pertaining to the action on both the court and the ice. The challenging part of the entire situation is knowing when the games are played due to the disjointed nature of the schedule.

Throughout the NBA Finals, games have taken place three days apart from one another, while the Stanley Cup Final has followed a similar pattern but both avoid playing games on Sundays. As a result, there were only two days between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, but three for the remainder should it reach a deciding seventh game. Similarly in basketball, the first three games of the NBA Finals were played every other day, but the remainder of the series is scheduled with two days of rest. There is a chance the decision was made to accommodate travel schedules, as both series are aligned in a 2-2-1-1-1 pattern, meaning the first two games are played in one city; the next two are played in the other; and then they continue to alternate until a champion is crowned.

“I don’t know why the NBA’s not playing on Sunday,” 97.1 The Ticket morning co-host Mike Stoney said. “That big travel day – because you really need travel days nowadays with your private planes to fly from Miami to Denver.”

Show co-host Jon Jansen, who played 10 seasons in the NFL as an offensive tackle with Washington and Detroit, expressed how some players may need to acclimate themselves to the altitude in Denver, Colo. The city is located 5,280 feet, or one mile, above sea level, making the air thinner and dryer and presenting some visitors with difficulty breathing. Jansen never felt the effects of altitude sickness, claiming that it was never a big deal for him, but obviously, everyone reacts to things differently.

“Basketball in particular and hockey because it’s constant running, especially at your position,” Stoney proposed. “You’re not running like madmen [in football] like they do in basketball where I think it affects you the most.”

The schedule also presents challenges for consumers around the United States living in different time zones. The NBA Finals do not begin until 8:30 p.m. EST, and the games often do not include until close to midnight. Especially on weeknights, asking East Coast fans to stay up late and then go to work early in the morning limits the amount of sleep they can receive. Meanwhile, those on the West Coast are just returning home from a standard eight-hour workday and may have other tasks to carry out.

“They’ve got to get up early on the [West] Coast,” Jansen said. “We’ve got to stay up late because Monday Night Football can’t start until 8:30. It goes both ways.”

There is no perfect time slot that will appease all consumers, but even so, ratings for this year’s NBA Finals have exceeded most expectations. Game 3 attracted an average audience of 11.2 million viewers and peaked at a figure of 12.4 million, down 2.5% from last year’s third game of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Viewership for the first three games of the NBA Finals is averaging 11.6 million, representing a nearly 2% decline from last year’s numbers. ESPN reported its most-watched playoffs across its platforms in the last 11 years, with the total playoff viewership audience averaging approximately 6.1 million people.

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Colin Cowherd: I Have Tried to Invest in MLS Teams Twice

“I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Courtesy: FS1

Could we have seen FOX Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd having some sort of ownership stake in an MLS team? Cowherd said he tried, and then he tried again.

Talking about Inter Miami adding global superstar Lionel Messi on Thursday, Cowherd mentioned that he inquired about getting involved with the league, but the asking price at this point is too much for him.

“I have twice tried to invest in the MLS, and I just can’t afford it,” Cowherd said. “I think they’re smart. I think they’re boutique stadiums, their fanbases feel European. The in-game environment’s excellent. The academy is slowly becoming something, but it is becoming something their academy system. And they are now on a regular basis going and getting the world’s biggest soccer stars.”

Colin pointed out that Messi is the most popular athlete in the world, boasting social media followings and name recognition that easily eclipses that of superstar athletes like LeBron James and celebrities like the Kardashians and Beyonce. So not only is Messi’s signing a monumental moment for Inter Miami owner David Beckham, but it’s a feather in the cap signing for Major League Soccer as a whole.

“Messi is massive for the MLS. It’s the biggest moment in the history of the franchise,” he said. “Think Beckham times two. And Beckham was big when he arrived here in the States.”

“I think it’s cool that the MLS, our domestic soccer league, can go out and bring a superstar – not a star, a mega superstar on our soil regularly,” he added.

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San Antonio’s Sports Star Shuffles Weekday Lineup

“The station also announced a new show hosted by producer James Pledger which will air from 6-7 p.m. and debut on Monday.”

Jordan Bondurant

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A few days after eliminating its midday show, 94.1 FM San Antonio Sports Star has announced further changes to its local weekday lineup.

Gone is Jimenez & Spence, hosted by Mike Jimenez, who was let go last week, and program director Tim Spence. Afternoon show The Blitz with Jason Minnix and Joe Reinagel is shifting back an hour and will air from 2-6 p.m.

The station also announced a new show hosted by producer James Pledger which will air from 6-7 p.m. and debut on Monday.

Pledger has been a longtime contributor to San Antonio Sports Star, producing The Blitz in addition to hosting a Saturday morning show. He will continue in those roles while also adding his hourlong daily program.

“I’ve worked for this for so long,” Pledger told local CBS affiliate KENS. “I have long wanted to be in both worlds because of the creativity that I use when producing, how it differs from creating a show.”

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