The New York Mets have not been very successful in the past few years and have watched their attendance and TV ratings dwindle. One thing that has remained constant for the team is its relationship with their radio broadcaster, WFAN. That relationship may soon end, according to a report from Newsday's Neil Best. Best's report indicates that WFAN is close to finalizing a deal to carry the New York Yankees and their games for the 2014 season, an arrangement that would boot the Mets from their long time radio home.
WFAN has carried the Mets' telecasts since the station's debut in 1987, when they inherited the license after taking over WHN's 1050 AM signal. The Mets and WFAN remained partners throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including when WFAN moved down the dial to 660 AM and when the station recently started broadcasting on the FM dial at 101.9. The Mets, however, have been a money drain for the station according to Best's report. That has lead CBS Radio, the parent company of WFAN, to work on a deal to bring Yankees' broadcasts to the Fan beginning next season.
The Yankees have been on WCBS radio since 2002, and their contract with the station is set to expire after the 2013 season. WCBS is WFAN's sister station, so the move appears designed to strengthen WFAN and allow WCBS to go to an all news format. The Yankees would likely continue forth on WFAN with their current radio broadcast team of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman according to sources with the organization. The move makes business sense for WFAN, which already has a deal with the YES Network to syndicate Mike Francesa's drive time show weekdays.
This news is not good for the Mets, who have been a part of the Fan since its inception. While the radio team of Howie Rose and Josh Lewin is likely to move to whatever station lands the Mets, it is not a good sign for the Mets to be kicked off of the top sports radio station in New York City. Best speculates that two likely landing spots for the Mets are ESPN Radio and WOR radio, either of which is a likely down grade in audience compared to WFAN. The deal also could affect how the Mets are covered on WFAN, as the Mets will likely receive far less coverage since they are no longer WFAN's featured baseball property. Stay with us here on Mets 101 for more as this story continues to develop.
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