WFAN will reportedly air some New York Islanders games this upcoming season in addition to 88.7 WRHU (Hofstra Radio).
IslesBlog reported that they have learned WFAN will air Islanders games when there is no conflict with the Yankees, Devils, Giants or Nets games. This is a huge step for the Islanders.
As someone who is employed by a college radio station it is tough for me to be critical of it, since I realize the importance of college radio and the educational band on the dial. So I say this with no disrespect to Hofstra, as they genuinely have the best college radio station in the world.
The Islanders need to be on a major station.
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The listenership for Hofstra doesn’t hold a candle to WFAN or ESPN New York. As a team that has struggled to market themselves, being on the biggest sports station in the area is a big step for the Islanders.
As much as I loved Nassau Coliseum and dislike the Barclays Center for hockey, I realized that the Isles were a second rate organization. They were playing in Uniondale with the nearest attraction being the college bars on Hempstead Turnpike.
An old rundown building and games being broadcasted on a college station is not appropriate for this once proud franchise, as they rise back to perennial playoff contender status.
If you live in the area you realize how infrequently the local sports stations talk hockey. Even my favorite radio show “Boomer and Carton” poke fun at the unpopularity of hockey with their “Nobody cares about hockey” drop they play when Boomer Esiason attempts to talk puck.
Even “Numbah One” had his take on how the Islanders market themselves.
"Hi @NYIslanders … Mike Francesa thinks you have a third-rate organization. Good luck getting to sleep tonight!https://t.co/A1Zr0fVUPJ— Funhouse (@RNs_Funhouse) April 27, 2016"
As much as it ticked me off that Mike Francesa went there, he had a point. This will certainly help them in that aspect as they grow a relationship with the top dog of sports radio.
Last year in the playoffs Boomer, Evan Roberts (Islanders fan) and Chris Moore, all of WFAN, did pregame shows at the Barclays. This was my first clue that two sides were looking to calibrate.
Just think, promos will be running on WFAN now as opposed to the college station. This should draw more attention to the team.
The Islanders should not be looked at as second class in this town. It’s embarrassing that arguably the most talented athlete in the city, John Tavares, would go unnoticed walking around the city.
This team is for real, they’ve been in the playoffs three of the last four years and are on the rise. It’s about time that this city takes them seriously. Having some games on WFAN is a start.