Twitch, home to popular esports streamers, is partnering with Radio.com parent Entercom for interactive livestreams of sports radio stations in major cities in the United States.
The partnership, first reported by Variety, will see popular Radio.com sports stations in Boston (WEEI in Boston), New York (WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM), Dallas (105.3 The Fan), Chicago (670 The Score), Atlanta (92.9 The Game), and Detroit (97.1 The Ticket) livestreamed through dedicated branded channels on the Twitch platform. VP David Rosenbloom said the partnership would introduce traditional sports broadcasting to “a new generation of sports fans.”
Twitch isn’t just a hub for esports streamers anymore, and Twitch has begun expanding its content offerings on the platform to include other entertainment as well. Jane Weedon, Director of New Verticals at Twitch, said in a statement that Twitch has in recent years seen a growing community of sports fans on the platform.
“Twitch is the place where people come to connect and engage over their shared interests, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a group of people more passionate than sports fans,” Weedon said in a statement. “With the addition of sports radio, on-air talent and fans will be able to interact and discuss their favourite athletes, teams, and leagues with one another in real time.
Weedon added that as with the long-cherished call-in format of talk radio stations — which, how do you do, fellow olds — Twitch’s users will be able to join in on the conversation with Twitch’s Chat feature.
The broadcasting partnership arrives at a very uncertain time for sports as covid-19 pummels the industry and sports stadiums remain a no-go for the foreseeable future. But radio still has plenty of opportunities to keep fans connected to the teams they love, including with analysis and exclusive interviews, and particularly for dedicated fan communities of teams like Red Sox and Yankees.
Livestreamed sports radio certainly doesn’t replace the joy of sitting in the stands at an IRL ballfield, a thing I am personally missing a lot right now. But it may help scratch the itch until we’re allowed to safely return to stadiums — whatever that looks like in a post-covid-19 world.