By Alan Pergament
The move of University at Buffalo football and basketball radio broadcasts from Sports Radio 1270 The Fan to ESPN 1520 won't make every local college sports fan happy.
That's because it means that Syracuse University games in those sports no longer will be carried by the 50,000 watt station where UB is headed in a move that will increase the exposure of its athletic program.
Greg Ried, the general manager of ESPN 1520 and all local Entercom stations, confirmed Thursday night that Syracuse is being dropped.
"ESPN 1520 will be exclusive to UB sports as far as full season coverage," wrote Ried in an email.
Asked if that meant Syracuse games wouldn't be carried on any Entercom station -- it also owns WGR and WBEN -- Ried wrote: "As of right now we will not."
That would seem to leave an opening for 1270 The Fan to carry the Orange if Syracuse is willing to go on a station affiliated with CBS Sports Radio that only operates with 1,000 watts at night and 5,000 in the daytime.
I reached out to a 1270 representative Thursday night to see if the station would be interested in carrying Syracuse and will report when I hear back.
While Entercom's decision to carry the local college team is commendable and understandable, you could have a lively debate here whether there is more local interest in UB basketball or Syracuse basketball.
There are a lot of Syracuse graduates in the area (full disclosure: I am one of several members of the local media who is a SU graduate if you didn't know that already), its basketball program is annually one of the best in the country and it now plays in the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference.
Syracuse's two appearances in the NCAA tournament at the First Niagara Center last March -- it lost the second game to Dayton -- attracted so many SU fans that they were like home games for Jim Boeheim's squad.
However, just about every Syracuse basketball game is carried either on national or local television, which might reduce interest in its radio broadcasts.
Still, Syracuse's games should be attractive enough to interest 1270 The Fan enough to consider trying to make a deal to carry them to offset its UB loss.
If not, it wouldn't be shocking to see Entercom try to carry some Syracuse games on one of its stations in the area when they don't conflict with UB games.