Entry for January 18, 2009

January 18, 2009

Sounders to KIRO FM

With the Sounders placing their radio broadcasts with 97.3FM, they’re assured of avoiding possible conflicts with the Mariners and Seahawks on 710 ESPN. It became apparent awhile ago that the Sounders were not going to be added to the 710 ESPN lineup, as announcement after announcement came down about the new format, with the club not mentioned. Given was the fact they’d end up on a Bonneville owned station, which really left just a few options, including KTTH. We’ll see if 710 will pick up simulcasts of the games on 97.3 when there’s not a conflict with the other two teams.

One possible concern is that by not adding the Sounders to the 710 lineup, the Sounders may not get the kind of coverage and attention they might otherwise have gotten, despite the fact the stations share the same owner. In some minds, this could further emphasize the point that the Sounders are not at the same level on the local sports landscape as the Mariners and Seahawks. I figure 710 will do some cross-promotional work and at least mention when a Sounders match is going on concurrently on 97.3 if simulcasts are not in the plans. Nonetheless, I think it would have been a big boon for the Sounders to share the same frequency as our other two major league franchises.

I don’t think there would be as much conflicting programming between the three franchises as is assumed. And had there been conflicts between two, or even three, of those teams on the same day, then the games could have been bumped to Bonneville’s other stations. We’ll have to see how this plays out going forward and if changes occur based on ratings and the general success of 710 ESPN. The positive is that the Sounders now have a radio home that will be free on conflicts.