The New York Islanders could have a new radio deal with 1050 AM WEPN-AM in order to carry their games. What does that mean for listeners?
I want to make this very clear that nothing is confirmed and this is just speculation based on advertisements on the boards at last night’s preseason game. Peter Schwartz tweeted out an ad on the New York Islanders boards for 1050 AM ESPN Radio.
As pointed out to me on Twitter, this could just be a paid advertisement but let’s debunk that theory. If it is an advertisement, the salesperson at 1050 AM should be fired.
1050 AM is a Spanish speaking sports station, it’s literally called “Deportes Nueva York”. Advertising your Spanish speaking sports station at a sporting event whose average age is 49 years old, with a fanbase (and sport) that for the most part lacks diversity is not a smart business play. 92 percent of NHL fans are caucasian/white, ESPN Deportes shouldn’t target this audience.
So we’ll assume that the Islanders are going to have at the very least, a portion of their games broadcasted on ESPN Deportes.
Right now, their games are carried on WRHU, which is Hofstra’s radio station. Lou Lamoriello in the past has mentioned getting them off of college radio, and it looks like he might get his wish with 1050 AM.
For reference, we will look at the coverage map of current radio home of the New York Islanders, WRHU:
For a college radio station, the coverage map is pretty solid. It reaches just about all of Nassau County and into Queens, and you can hear it out to about the Deer Park area in Suffolk.
This is the coverage map of WEPN-AM 1050 AM via radio-locater:
During the day, you can hear WEPN-AM to almost Kingston, which is about two hours upstate. On the Island, you should be good to about West Hampton, there’s just one issue. The Isles don’t play a lot of day games.
Most of their schedule is night games, and the coverage map of an AM station will look different at night. Some stations have to power down, to as much as 50 percent power, at nighttime so that the radio waves don’t interfere with other AM stations.
AM frequency travels further than FM, so that’s why FM signals don’t have to change their power or directional map.
Here’s the nighttime coverage map of WEPN-AM:
At night, you’ll get a good signal until roughly Brentwood. From the north, you’ll be able to get it to the Poughkeepsie area which is clearly a much larger area than what WRHU covers.
The one thing is, AM sounds awful. The broadcast quality is not going to be nearly the same that we are used to on the FM dial and even though it reaches farther it won’t come in on your radio as clear as FM does.
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It looks like the Islanders are willing to lose quality for a larger surface area on paper. Lamoriello would rather be on AM, than a college radio station that much is obvious. I’m not sure that’s the wisest of choices but it looks like that’s where the Isles are headed.