Shop Talk: Covering the state basketball tournament

Three of our four state radio networks do sports reports as well as news. It’s state tournament time and each of the networks are providing coverage. Depending on the network, we do two or three brief (2-3 min) reports a day.

Doesn’t give much time to cover all the games of the tournament. Throughout the years, we tried various formats that would appeal to our affiliates but –as a general rule– each station only cared about the teams from their region of the state. This is a little less true in Iowa and Wisconsin. But the state tournament is just not a big deal (to radio stations) in Missouri.

You smell another Long Tail example, don’t you?

We knew there were “x” number of fans who cared very much about the games…but had no way to get our reports to them. And now we do. I’ve been following Missourinet Sports Director David Sprague’s reports from the state tournament. He filed a dozen reports over two days and you can see/hear a few of them here, here and here.

Basketball TournamentI assume he was in press row with his laptop and digital camera, posting reports to our website, with no limitation on the length or frequency of his reports. No satellites, no studios. Of course, the next thought that pops into my head is that any talented reporter (or fan) could have covered the state tournament just as easily as David did. It all comes down to the quality of the reporting, not to advantages of distribution. I realize I’m stating the obvious here, but after so many years of trying to meet the needs of our affiliates and their listeners, it’s…liberating…to be able to finally reach them directly.

If I were still programming the old KBOA, I like to think I would have a heavily-promoted website with a special “State Tournament” section on my sports page. And –as a Missourinet affiliate– I’d have David load it up with lots of reports on the teams of local/regional interest. I’d take everything he had time to produce.

If you spot any interesting online coverage of state tournaments…put a link in the comments below.

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