This is sort of RADIO WARS-ish, but not deserving of the RADIO WARS label.
If you’ve turned on 97.5 the Fanatic on a Saturday night over the past year or two, you might have happened upon Checkpoint Radio, a syndicated eSports program discussing, well, video games. The first time this happened to me was mid 2017 I believe, and I flipped on the radio to hear 94.1 WIP broadcasting another Phillies loss. I switched over to 97.5, which was airing a bunch of dudes talking about the League of Legends World Championships or something like that.
It was jarring, to say the least, but I wasn’t surprised when a Crossing Broad reader sent us an article revealing that Fanatic owner Beasley Media Group purchased Checkpoint Radio OUTRIGHT, as Mike Missanelli would say.
Taking a step into the fast-growing competitive video gaming space, Beasley Media Group has bought the internationally syndicated eSports gaming lifestyle show, “Checkpoint Radio.” The purchase is part of BeasleyXP, a new eSports venture Beasley announced at the 2018 eSports Business Summit at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
The weekly two-hour show, featuring co-hosts Nathan Bender, Norris Howard, Robbie Landis and Joe Sloan, currently airs on Beasley’s sports stations in Boston and Philadelphia and in roughly 50 other markets in the U.S. and Canada via Westwood One. It’s also found on the Twitch live streaming video platform.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the survey 97.5 recently sent out, asking their listeners if they had any interest in eSports.
While it’s true that the younger crowd might be tuned in to Fortnite or Overwatch or whatever, I’m 99.999% sure that eSports is not going to play well on terrestrial Philadelphia sports radio beyond a weekend niche role. Plus, we have to talk about the Eagles 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so I just don’t see how they can fit something different into the lineup. We need more Eagles talk and more phone calls from Tony in South Philly.
Adding more eSports programming in an old school “four for four” sports town would be about as dumb as parting ways with Harry Mayes.