7:30 pm: The Islanders are hoping to finalize a unique radio arrangement with Hofstra University prior to Saturday night’s opening of the NHL regular season, multiple sources have informed Point Blank.
The marriage is a potentially fascinating one. Radio Hofstra University on 88.7 FM would actually provide Islanders radio broadcasts with a stronger signal than the franchise has had in five years. WRHU covers most of Long Island and carries into Queens and Brooklyn. The Islanders broadcasts would also be available on the Internet.
What would Hofstra get out of the arrangement? For starters, the University’s Communications program would be able to sell to prospective students that their school provides opportunities for youngsters to work on NHL games.
While a veteran broadcaster would likely lead the charge – here’s hoping it’s Islanders Faithful, Chris King – Hofstra students would serve as intermission hosts and sideline reporters. There’s even a chance that students would be color commentators on select broadcasts at home and on the road. Students would also run the technical end – production, engineering, audio.
During the Islanders’ preseason game at the Coliseum on Saturday, Hofstra students worked on a gamecast rehearsal, interviewing players between periods and after the games.
Madison Square Garden Network, which owns all of the Islanders’ broadcast rights, would have to sign off on the deal. With less than 72 hours before Opening Night, the negotiations for this complicated but intriguing arrangement appear to be coming down to the wire.
No doubt, this move will cause some to shake their heads, others to poke fun when you consider the Rangers are on 1050 ESPN Radio and the Devils are on WFAN with broadcasts run entirely by professionals. But for a franchise with financial challenges and with limited options on major stations in the metropolitan area, this is certainly an innovative try. The games would be heard beyond the Coliseum parking lot (the RHU tower is in Hempstead), the dreaded simulcasts would be over and, after all, who doesn’t want the best for college students?
Loudville Open for Opener: On a somewhat related note, the Islanders have made Loudville available for Saturday’s home opener. Tickets are available for students with an ID in Section 330 for just $14. Good news if you’re a student. It also means there are good seats still available for the home opener.
Comments on this post, please. Roster discussion continues below. My promised video has been moved one slot back in the rotation. Stay tuned.