Orlando Magic pulling Spanish-language radio broadcasts


For the first time since the 1997-98 season, Orlando Magic games will not be broadcast locally in Spanish on the radio. The team was heard on Spanish-language flagship Radio Luz’s WRLZ-AM in that market, as well as Church Capital Florida Holdings’ WIWA-AM in nearby Kissimmee, FL. The team instead will offer the broadcasts on ElOrlandoMagic.com.

The games air in English on flagship Cox Media’s News Talk 580/96.5 WDBO.

Why the change? And why do it at a time when Spanish speakers might be drawn to the team because of the presence of Mexican big man Gustavo Ayón?, asks The Orlando Sentinel.

“We had a lot of conversations with the local Spanish radio stations,” Magic CEO Alex Martins told the paper, “and one of the challenges that we had in being on some of those outlets was we couldn’t get any measurements of what our listenership was in terms of numbers.”

Joey Colon, the team’s Spanish play-by-play voice since 1998-99, will continue to do the Magic’s Spanish-language broadcasts.

The team also will air 12 home games and one road game in Spanish on TV during the season. Fox Sports Florida will produce the home games, with Colon behind the microphone.

Putting the Spanish-language radio broadcasts online will help the team measure its audience and could help produce ad revenue for its website.

“Clearly, it’s a test for us, and we will spend the year testing it,” Martins said. “But our opinion going in is that we won’t lose any listenership from doing it.”

Also leaving the stable will be “Inside Magic en Espanol,” a weekly radio call-in show with Joey Colon that airs from 6pm – 7pm on Radio Luz.

See the Orlando Sentinel story here

RBR-TVBR observation: Indeed, WRLZ and WIWA apparently do not subscribe to Arbitron and do not show up on the Orlando rankers. That likely hurt national ad sales for the team. Simply put, the team wants to monetize its Spanish-language radio broadcast and is going to give the online-only option a try.