The Pistons started off their off-season last week with a win when they announced that they have agreed upon a three year contract with Greater Media and 105.1 WMGC to broadcast all of their pre and regular season games, plus appearances in the NBA Playoffs.
The deal comes after a tumultuous end to a 4 year run with CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM.
No the issue wasn’t with broadcast team of Mark Champion or Rick Mahorn. In fact, they will be back as the broadcast team on 105.1 starting next season. There was no issue with the great pre and post game work of Matt Dery.
The problem started when the what used to be the flagship of all four stations tried to squeeze the four professional pieces of pie into one dish. Of course, when you have the Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons and Lions all on the same network, it can get hairy.
Even though WXYT is without a doubt one of the most listened to stations in the city. It has built a long tradition of being the sports home of fans across metro Detroit and throughout a good part of the state with it’s online base. It’s still hard not to believe the Pistons found a better home to continuously improve and showcase their operation than 105.1 WMGC.
Palace Entertainment has secured all broadcast revenue rights. They are in an agreement with Greater Media to create full streaming not only on pistons.com and 105.1′s website, but on all types of online apps.
And that’s just the start of creative works on the way for the Pistons.
A hungry Greater Media staff is willing to put together unique on-air programming for the Stones. They also will provide online content and video. That’s not including a hybrid reporter role that will have offices at the radio station as well as at the Palace.
Yet the most appealing of this deal for both parties has to be the imaging it creates for both companies.
For the Pistons, they will be the only professional franchise in the Motor City with their own home. Even if the ad revenue starts a shade lower than it’s been in the past, it’s a marketing win that WXYT cannot match. And the Greater Media Detroit group is all in.
The station has already branded itself as, “The Radio Home Court of the Detroit Pistons.” Local talent and mid day host Matt Dery has been known for his contribution to Pistons broadcasts in the past. A former news update anchor and contributor to the “Valenti and Foster” drive time show on 97.1 WXYT-FM, Dery had plenty of opportunities to rip the organization. He’s always passed on that opportunity.
Unlike known fireball announcer Mike Valenti, who has been known for his disrespectful rants and reactions to front office decisions in the past. Valenti, who is known his vibrant approach to sports radio does have a job to do. Yet there are certain ways to approach teams that under perform when your signal is their play by play flagship.
Plain and simple, it’s just not good for your station or the franchise if your ripping the product instead of just putting it like it is. Especially if the station group producing the radio broadcasts cares about the product they’re producing on a nightly basis.
You’re not going to hear or get that feeling from the new radio home for Pistons Basketball.