Could Pandora Or Spotify Be The Next To Stream Game Radio For The Group of Five?

Right now, if you wanted to listen to your favorite team on the radio, you would have to either turn on your local sports radio affiliate or stream straight from the team’s website. For fans that want to follow multiple games at once, it can be a pain in the ass if you have to search through affiliates while trying and keep multiple streams sounding clear at once.

But what if there was an out of the box solution?  What if the group of five fought to have its games cast on a streaming platform like Spotify or Pandora?

G5 teams could potentially put their radio rights into a streaming company’s network, with the respective programs handling the production of the game radio while Spotify or Pandora handle the distribution. I see an area within the streaming site’s main page where you can jump between games, with limited commercials in between of course to help fund the thing and make it more lucrative for all parties.

This conversation already is beginning to happen in the TV world, where rising rights package prices are no longer keeping up with the falling viewership numbers that help fund them. Instead of there being more to go around, there is a divide between the haves and have-nots that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Think about the potential positives behind it:

  • Established audience: Spotify and Pandora already have millions of subscriptions from people who steam music on their sites. Add college games to this and you’re already reaching a wide audience who is there for the original service.
  • Convenience: All the games would be in one place and it becomes less of a hassle to get to them. You can listen to Troy play South Alabama despite the fact that it is not on TV.
  • Circumvent lack of great TV rights: Most conferences don’t have the best rights packages in the first place, but many only get wide exposure at most once or twice a year on primary channels. Get around that weakness by giving fans exposure to more teams.
  • On the phone convenience: Most people tailgate with their phone steaming music anyway, why not have the pregame at your fingertips as well?

I’ve already seen in the wake of cable cutting that services like Apple and Roku TV as well as streaming services like Hulu and Netflix have carved a sizable niche in the share of cable’s viewers. That same change could happen with the way we listen to games, too.

This is a highly experimental concept, but I would expect the smaller teams to take a chance with this. After all, with the Power Five locked into multiple contracts respectively that pay well, it may take the small fries making a move to pave a way into the streaming market and prove it is successful.


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