Twitch, which hosts popular eSports streamers, is partnering with Entercom, the parent company of Radio.com, for interactive live broadcasts from sports radio stations in major cities across the United States.
The partnership, first reported by Variety, will see popular Radio.com sports stations in Boston (WEEI in Boston), New York (WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM), Dallas (105.3 The Fan), Chicago (670 The Score), Atlanta (92 , 9 The Game) and Detroit (97.1 The Ticket) broadcast live via dedicated branded channels on the Twitch platform. Vice President David Rosenbloom said the partnership would introduce traditional sports broadcasting to “a new generation of sports fans”.
Twitch is no longer just a hub for eSports streamers, and Twitch has started expand its content offerings on the platform to include other entertainment as well. Jane Weedon, director of vertical news at Twitch, said in a statement that Twitch has seen a growing community of sports fans on the platform in recent years.
“Twitch is the place where people come to connect and engage about their common interests, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a group of people more passionate than sports fans,” Weedon said in a statement. “With the addition of sports radio, talent and fans on the air will be able to interact and discuss their athletes, teams, and leagues with each other in real time.
Weedon added that just like the much-loved calling format of chat radio stations – which, how do you do it, dear friends – Twitch users will be able to join the conversation with Twitch’s chat feature.
The broadcast partnership comes at a very uncertain time for sports, as covid-19 hits the industry and sports stadiums remain banned for the foreseeable future. But radio still has plenty of opportunities to keep fans connected to the teams they love, including with exclusive analysis and interviews, and especially for the dedicated fan communities of teams like the Red Sox and Yankees.
Live sports radio is certainly no substitute for the joy of sitting in the bleachers on an IRL ball field, something that I personally miss a lot at the moment. But it can help scratch the itch until we’re allowed to safely return to stadiums – whatever that sounds like in a post-covid-19 world.