THE 10 BIG, BURNING QUESTIONS OF THE GAMECOCK IMG SPORTS NETWORK
By Andy Demetra, "Voice of the Gamecocks"
Contact us: @GamecockRadio
We appreciate you listening to the Gamecock IMG Sports Network. We also understand you may have some questions about our radio coverage. Below, you'll find answers to the 10 most commonly asked-questions about our radio network broadcasts. We hope it'll give you greater insight into the structure, distribution, and contractual commitments of our radio network. Thanks for listening! -Andy Demetra
1.) Where can I listen to the game in [insert your town here]?
We keep a detailed affiliate list here.
2.) Where can I listen to the game online?
By subscribing to Gamecock All-Access. A subscription to Gamecock All-Access not only lets you watch all South Carolina home baseball games (with the radio call attached), but the live radio calls of all South Carolina away games.
Our affiliate stations own the terrestrial radio rights to Gamecock athletics. However, IMG College owns the streaming radio rights to Gamecock athletics. As part of their contract agreement, all affiliate stations must disable their live streaming during South Carolina football, basketball, and baseball broadcasts. Violators are subject to penalty by IMG College.
3.) Can I listen to the game on my phone?
Yes! Gamecocks Online has an official app in the iTunes store and Android Marketplace which allows you to stream broadcasts over your phone. The app is free to download, but the live content requires a premium subscription ($4.95/year for Android, $9.95/year for iPhone).
While it costs less than a Gamecock All-Access subscription, you will not have access to live video for South Carolina home games. Also, depending on cell reception and your phone's bandwidth, the stream may be more sensitive to buffering.
Please note: Gamecock All-Access and the Gamecocks Online app are both managed by CBS Interactive, Inc. The Gamecock IMG Sports Network does not control the availability, reliability, or sound quality of these streams.
4.) What if I have a TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other radio listening app on my phone?
You won't be able to listen. If a station has disabled its live streaming, a TuneIn, IHeartRadio, or other radio app will not apply.
5.) How can I sync up the radio with the TV call?
Because of differences in satellite transmissions, as well as our own FCC-mandated 7-second delay, the radio call will not always match up to the TV. There are devices you can buy, such as SportSync, that will even out the delay.
6.) Why do certain stations carry all Gamecock baseball games, while some only carry SEC and post-season games?
Because of scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or local programming restrictions, some stations don't have the ability to run a full broadcast schedule. To still maintain a Gamecock presence in their market, they may elect to carry only SEC and post-season series.
For the first time in 2012, the Gamecock IMG Sports Network has made all of our baseball broadcasts available "network-wide" when they don't conflict with basketball. Essentially, our stations have a greater opportunity than ever before to pick and choose their schedules, and expand their non-conference baseball coverage. It's best to check with your local station to find out whether a particular game will air.
In the last 2 years, we've grown our baseball affiliate list from 6 to 13 stations. You can always approach your local station about carrying all Gamecock baseball games -- community groundswell tends to make things happen, especially if there are local business owners who may be interested in sponsoring the extra coverage.
7.) How come you don't have a station in my hometown?
Say you live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Why doesn't a station there carry South Carolina football? Simply put, there aren't enough Gamecock fans in Raleigh - and more importantly, advertisers who want to target them -- to justify a station carrying the games.
Each year, the IMG College Affiliate Relations team travels to every market in South Carolina, trying to line up new affiliates and renew existing ones. We always strive for 100% penetration. However, for the same reasons listed above - scheduling conflicts, staffing concerns, or other programming obligations - in certain markets, no radio station may be willing to invest in becoming a Gamecock IMG Sports Network affiliate.
8.) But I live in an area that has an affiliate station listed. Why can't I hear the game?
You may have an affiliate station that's designated for your market, but its signal doesn't reach your home. Unfortunately, there's not much we can do. Stations' signals are sometimes stronger in one direction than another.
Also, AM radio stations have different signal strengths in the daytime and nighttime. By law, they have to "power down" their signal at night. Thus, you may be able to hear Gamecock baseball broadcasts during the day, but can't pick it up once the sun goes down. Lastly, did you check to see whether your station is carrying the game?
9.) If a Gamecock basketball game or coaches' show airs at the same time as a Gamecock baseball game, why do stations have to carry the basketball game/coaches' show?
Invariably, overlaps occur during a season. As part of our radio agreement, the sport with more affiliates statewide always takes priority on pre-emptions. Currently, we have more basketball affiliates (21) than baseball (13). In fairness to our affiliates, and the sponsors who count on our network coverage, we have to offer on our satellite channel the sport that's carried by more of our stations. From an ethical and business standpoint, it's the right thing to do.
We also defer to the "ongoing" sport. A late-season conference game should, and will, take priority over an early-season non-conference game. Wins and losses do not factor into this decision. It's about staying consistent with our affiliates and our sponsors' expectations.
10.) Is the baseball game on XM?
For selected conference games only. XM has three dedicated SEC channels (199-201), which makes carrying every South Carolina game impossible (we have the share space with the 11, and soon to be 13, other SEC schools). Each week, XM selects the games it chooses to carry. We will notify you when they decide to pick up a Gamecock broadcast (they usually make the decision early in the week).
We hope this clears up some of the questions you may have had. Thanks for listening - we look forward to signing on next!