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Redskins local radio affiliates will add a delay

After a U.S. court overturned the FCC's policy banning even a single inadvertent broadcast expletive this summer, lots of radio stations decided they no longer needed to put live sporting events on a delay. Thus, the local affiliates of the Redskins Radio Network -- ESPN 980, 94.3 and 92.7 -- did away with the 30-or-so-second delay they had used in past seasons, and began airing the broadcast live, in real time.

Which, of course, led to a different problem. People are watching Redskins games on about a dozen different cable or satellite companies, and just about every one of 'em has a differently timed feed, which meant Larry, Sonny and Sam were ahead of whatever image you saw on your TV this season. And you can't really DVR your radio dial. So that led to complaints to the radio stations, with callers this week explaining that they were seeing the ball blowing off the tee before the opening kickoff against the Bears while Larry, Sonny and Sam were already describing the opening return.

So for this week's Redskins game, the local radio affiliates will be using a delay of about 15 seconds, which should at least allow DVR-using TV viewers to sync up their television with the radio broadcast. The delay should be constant throughout the game, so once you've sync'ed up the two broadcasts, you shouldn't have to do it again.

"We'll try this and see how it works," Red Zebra director of programming Chuck Sapienza told me. "We're trying what we can to make everybody happy, which is next to impossible, but we're doing our best."

Of course, you then run into a different problem during home games, when people inside the stadium want to listen to the radio broadcast and then find it behind the live action in front of them. Sapienza said it's possible the delay will be decreased during home games.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 29, 2010; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Posted by: maxhat4 | October 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

ESPN980's website offers a similar technology workaround.

Posted by: rdpinva | October 29, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan are announcing the game on Fox.

Posted by: pearlbullets | October 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Thank god....that was driving me nuts to the point where I just turned off the radio broadcast.

Posted by: yampaco | October 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Can we put a delay on Sam Huff? Seriously, it's time to move on.

Posted by: timchadwick | October 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Listening over the internet also helps, but the delay over the net has been as long as 7 minutes sometimes, and they try to catch up at commercial breaks which means a lot of tweaking of the DVR. It's worth it though to keep from listening to Troy (Whiner) Aikman and Joe Buck call the game. Another alternative that works is to skip the sound altogether and just watch the game without sound. It helps you focus more on the play and not the announcers.

Posted by: marshb99 | October 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Half of me thinks radio broadcasts should be as "live" as possible & especially if I went to many games.
But, I am glad I can use my comcast DVR to finaly listen to the home take or broadcast, of games and mute the nat'l guys.

Posted by: Hattrik | October 29, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

not sure who worse...probalby be a good survey question

Troy Aikman on broadcasts
Michael Irvin on anything
Brian Baldinger on broadcasts
Ernie Johnson (TNT NBA) on MLB postseason

Posted by: kirkoman | October 29, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Dan for posting these kinds of things. I thought part of the delay last year was for creating the HD radio signal and it affected even the non-HD bands. Did they fix that or just abandon the HD signal.

Posted by: justsayin | October 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I grew up listening to Sonny, Sam, and Frank while watching Skins games. While it's not the same without Frank, it will be GREAT to get to do it all again!

Posted by: stwasm | October 29, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

While I used to love 'turning down the sound' and listening to Sonny, Sam, and Frank call the game, (1) the delay has become unbearable and (2) so has Larry. Delay him to another city, please. But I digress: trying to listen to Sonny and Sam on the radio at FedExField is a joke--why a live feed can't be synched up to live action is mind boggling. Let's see if the new system works.

Posted by: backrowlead1 | October 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

This is all good info - and I'm floored that the Redskins are doing something so customer service oriented.

But I agree - the days of trying to do this ended when Frank Herzog left.

And I certainly wouldn't do this for Steve Kolbe and the Caps either......

Posted by: CF11555 | October 29, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem with this. During a recent game I found that the radio was behind the TV. So i paused the game live on TV until i was sure the two were synched up. I found that after commercials the TV was ahead of the action again. This happened after every TV timeout. Which has led me to conclude that Danny's radio station is taking longer commercial breaks than the TV. Shocking, I know.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

People like Sam Huff? Count my mind as blown.

Posted by: cao091402 | October 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Larry Michael has never once been embraced by the fans. Its been very close to 10 years and most fans still think the man is the devil.

HOW HAS NO ONE FIRED HIM YET! I have to figure the ratings are down overall.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 29, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I wish Huff would punch Aikman and Buck in their biased mouths. I think the old man can take both of em

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope they get the Home game situation worked out. It sucks to hear the replay after the "real" play actually happens.

Posted by: Monkman63 | October 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see im not the only one who doesnt care for larry.Bring back frank.The radio aint the same, and the delay thing, has forced troy aikman on me for too long.

Posted by: FOURWATTS | October 30, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The delay is great and so is Sam Huff! He is a lot of fun regardless of accuracy. As long as Sonny can take it in stride, keep Sam huff on the air!!!

Posted by: sheehado | October 30, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I hope this works. I can't stand the sound of Troy Barkman pissing on the Redskins while doing a game. I used to think that the blivethead Phil Simms from the Giants was an arrogant, egotistical, amazingly dumb announcer - but then came Barkman who made Phil Simms seem almost normal. That was almost as striking as Barry Obama making Bill Clinton seem non-narcissistic (that was quite a feat!).

HTTR and hopefully we take the Lions and pull them apart with a huge blowout.

Posted by: laserwizard | October 30, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

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