WDLW and WEOL covered the same game.

RadioInsight Community Forums Midwest Cleveland WDLW and WEOL covered the same game.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  jawbreaker 2 months ago.

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    John Basalla

    I wonder how often this happens.  On Friday it seemed that both Am 930 WEOL and 1380 WDLW did play-by-play of the same high school football game between Avon and Avon Lake (I think).  The reason I say “it seemed” and “I think” is because I’m just barely in the range of WEOL’s signal as we approach the evening, and pretty much outside of WDLW’s, although I’m pretty sure I heard the same game on both stations.



    I don’t claim to know the situation in all markets, but it definitely happens where I live. The established AM news/talker practically had the high school football scene all to itself for decades, but that’s changed in recent years. An in-market FM with considerable reach has moved in on the heritage station’s turf by airing many of the same games,  not to mention streaming multiple games on Friday nights. The AM heavyweight has responded by streaming, too. Overall, the scene here is definitely more competitive than it was a decade or two ago.

    At a station I worked at very early in my career, our sports crew was routinely given hassles by the powers that be when trying to broadcast some of the area’s marquee matchups. It seems that the big station across town had/believed it had exclusive rights to such games, regardless of what other guidelines may have been in play. Not being directly involved in any of this, I can’t say how much of this was true, but our announcers certainly voiced their displeasure when it happened. C’est la vie.



    Yeah, this is a very old occurrence from way back. It really comes down to the sponsors and the money to be made. It’s especially acute if a big car dealer owner has a son that plays high school football. Then it becomes like insects swarming around discarded food. I once witnessed four radio stations at the same high school football game.

    There are a couple funny things about it ..

    First is the physical space available. These high schools are not set up for media. So, you don’t really have the space for multiple stations. This is especially true during high school basketball season.

    Second is .. the audio. This is especially true in enclosed press boxes during football season. You can plainly hear the other station’s announcers describing things .. mostly through crowd mics that are set up.

    It’s all very comical and there is no real answer to it.

    Nobody “colludes” with each other on which games are done on which station.

    There’s a reason there are thousands of maggots on the same piece of rancid meat.

    And there’s a reason all the whores gather on the same street.


    John Basalla

    Gotcha.  I can see how two stations running the same “marquee match up” would work.  However, if the stations are in the same market, aren’t they cutting each other’s throats a bit when it comes to ad sales?  Outside of the big marquee match ups, it seems to me it would make sense to run different games, so there is exclusivity.  It would be interesting to see what would happen if stations in the same market would have a get-together in July or early August to find out which games each wants to cover, and then come up with a fair-to-all plan so that there is no duplication of games, at least on the over-the-air signal.  If I were a business owner, I would think twice about buying time from one of the stations when I know that the same game is going to be covered on two stations that cover the same area, because there will be less listeners then if only one station had the over-the-air play-by-play.  I might not have the advertising funds to buy time on both stations.

    I do think that streaming multiple games is a good idea that can bring in added revenue.


    Tom McNally

    The stations don’t really care if anyone is actually listening.   It’s all about a way to make some money.   The reason multiple stations will broadcast the same game is all about the popularity and ranking of the team.   There are “big” matchups and unimportant ones.   The big ones bring in big money, the small ones not so much.   Thanksgiving Day is the high school moneymaker.   In my area, some stations ONLY do “the big game” and others are out there every Friday night.  Often, the play by play announcer is selling the game, and buying the air time from the station, or giving them a cut.  The stations don’t necessarily do anything but carry the feed provided.    Every market is different, bottom line “son of car dealer” is where the money is.



    Yeah, I’ll back Tom up here. He’s exactly right.

    For example, I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. I’m a football nut. I PLAYED high school football, started on offense, defense, kickoffs and punts. Hell, I was Program Director of “The Number One Sports Radio Station in Ohio as Named by The Associated Press”.

    And I’ve never listened to a high school football game on the radio in my life. Never. Not once.

    If they can’t get me, who in the hell are they getting as listeners?

    My theory is .. everybody who gives a shit about the game .. IS AT THE GAME.

    It’s the biggest scam in the history of broadcast radio. Nobody listens to high school football on the radio. Shut-ins. Invalids. Tin foil hat people that didn’t take their meds that day. People whose radio is broken and stuck on one station.

    But, you can’t tell advertisers that.

    It’s all very “inside” .. there’s .. maybe 30 people in an area .. coaches .. former athletic directors .. other weirdos that are trying to hang on to glory days .. and they all gather together and yank each other’s peter on how important it is and what a great matchup that will be and I can’t wait to see that defense against that running back.

    But nobody gives a shit.

    And if they do care, they are at the game.

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