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Devils, Islanders Sign Digital Deal With Entercom

Brandon Contes

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Entercom announced a partnership with the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders to have all regular and postseason games of both teams live streamed exclusively by Radio.com for free.  Entercom’s WFAN will remain the flagship radio station of the Devils.

“We’re excited to expand our partnership with the New Jersey Devils and add the New York Islanders,” said Jeff Sottolano, senior vice president for Entercom. “As the fastest growing digital audio app in the United States and unrivaled leader in local sports coverage, Radio.com aims to become a daily habit for the millions of users we reach each month, including tri-state hockey fans.”

For the Devils, this will be the 14th consecutive season having WFAN serve as their flagship radio station.  Last season, the Devils had 53 of their games live streamed by The One Jersey Network, a partnership that will be replaced by their exclusive agreement with Entercom’s Radio.com.

“Technology continues to evolve the ways fans follow their teams, over the last few years we have been focused on creating new platforms for our fans to engage with our teams,” said Hugh Weber, president of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the Devils and Prudential Center. “Specifically in terms of our audio rights, we have taken a conscious, phased approach in digitally streaming our games with the mission of making our broadcasts available when and where our fans choose.”

Radio.com will also give Islander fans a new way to consume game broadcasts.  Islander games will continue to air on terrestrial radio via Hofstra University’s 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 LI News Radio, along with select contests being heard on WFAN.  In recent years, the Islanders have struggled to find a major radio affiliate, with WRHU and LI News Radio both having limited broadcast coverage on Long Island.

“The way our fanbase consumes information about the New York Islanders is constantly changing. As an organization, we want to work with new platforms that will continue to give our fans that information in cutting edge areas,” noted Lou Lamoriello, president and general manager, New York Islanders. “The ability to partner with Entercom while still having a presence on WFAN allows our fanbase to not only listen to live game broadcasts but receive exclusive content that will make them feel closer to the team.”

Through their Entercom partnership, both teams are expected to offer exclusive content featuring new pregame, postgame and weekly programming on Radio.com throughout the season.  The Islanders and Devils partnership highlights a continued trend of professional teams offering their games live through free digital streaming.  Last month, the Los Angeles Kings announced their games would have no terrestrial affiliate and only be available to fans through iHeartRadio.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Online

Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network

“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”

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Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.

“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”

Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.

“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”

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Sports Online

Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’

“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.

In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.

The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”

He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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Sports Online

Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO

“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).

DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.

Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

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