Sunday was one of the busier D.C. sports evenings in recent memory, with the Redskins trying to hold on against the Rams well past 7, and then the Nats attempting to avoid a sweep against the second-place Braves on national television just after 8.
Now, the Nats don’t usually start their September games four hours after the Redskins kick off. This led to an unusual situation for 106.7 The Fan. The Nats’ flagship station typically does a baseball pregame show, but it also typically does an “unauthorized” Redskins postgame show.
So last Sunday, the pre-game show aired on AM 1500 and 1580, while 106.7 aired a brief Skins postgame show before going to Atlanta for the first pitch. At least one listener wasn’t pleased. From my e-mail box:
The “flagship” of the best team in baseball decides to drop the Nats pregame in favor of a postgame gasbag session for an NFL team it doesn’t carry and that regularly treats that station like [dirt]. Beyond pathetic.....Can listeners expect more contempt for the Nats by 106.7 as they are about to clinch? During the playoffs? We always heard that radio and TV would become Nats-friendly once the team started winning. So what’s the excuse now?
I chatted with 106.7 The Fan’s program director Chris Kinard this week, who said that his station is “trying to serve both audiences” and received virtually no complaints about Sunday’s arrangement.
“I think people understand that both teams are very popular, and sometimes their game times will overlap, and we’re going to cover both,” Kinard told me. “We just have to handle this on a case-by-case basis, based on what we think is best for the majority of the audience.”
This coming Sunday, both teams have early starts. The station plans on a lengthy early-morning Redskins pre-game show, followed by its normal Nats coverage at 1. (The Nats are scheduled to begin play at 1:35.) After the games are over, the station plans to air its regularly scheduled official Nats post-game show, to be followed by its unauthorized Skins post-game show.
And on Sundays in the playoffs?
“There would be no conflicts in the playoffs,” Kinard said. “The Nats would air no matter what. If the Nats are in the playoffs, if they play a 1 o’clock game, we’re going to be talking about the Nats all day. There’s no question. I’m sure we’ll mix in some Redskins, but a Nats playoff game would be enormous, and that would take priority over anything else that’s going on.”