If you’re stuck on the 405 and hoping a little hockey will ease your stress, don’t expect to find the Los Angeles Kings game on your AM dial. The team will not broadcast games over the radio this season. Instead, audio of their games will be exclusively available via online streaming, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The team has partnered with iHeartRadio to give fans a free L.A. Kings audio network. The app will contain audio broadcasts of games, pre-game and post-game shows and anything else the team can come up with. The Los Angeles Times mentions “podcasting, vintage game replays and hours of archived interviews” as possible options.
This is a pretty bold step for the franchise. Other NHL teams have utilized streaming services in the past, but the Kings will be the first to rely on streaming as their only option for audio broadcasts.
There are obvious positives and negatives in that approach. On the negative side, streaming may not be a concept every fan is familiar with. The team will need to make sure it educates fans on how to properly stream games, and what devices they can use to listen to Kings broadcasts. The app will also experience a delay, so fans hoping to watch the game on television with the radio broadcast would have to work to sync up the app with the action on their television screen.
Aside from Kings fan potentially getting a lot more content focused around the team, the big draw of streaming games is that fans can listen to them anywhere with the app. Unlike radio, there are no boundary restrictions. You won’t lose signal if you go too far outside Los Angeles.
For fans who still hate the idea, “Games also remain on Sirius XM satellite radio, LAKings.com online and the NHL app,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Kings are betting on new technology. If successful, they could pave the way for other professional sports teams to follow suit. Even if you’re not a Kings fan, this is an experiment worth following.
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