New Jersey Internet Radio was informed by the NJSIAA yesterday that permission was being withheld to webcast The Rumson-Fair Haven –Somerville game Friday night November 16, 2018 from Brooks Field. According to the terms of the agreement signed by the NJSIAA and NJ.COM, NJ.Com has the broadcast rights to ALL New Jersey State Football playoff games. Any third party wishing to do these games must get permission from the both the NJSIAA and NJ.COM. We were told that NJ.COM was afraid we would take hits away from the NJ.COM video webcast by doing radio play by play on our site www.njir.net. We were told if we were a broadcast radio station it would be different. I guess no one at Advance Communications realizes every radio station live streams their signal on line as well as on air. We were told this has been the NJSIAA policy for years. It has, but why then have we always been approved in the past for every playoff game we ever asked to do. Take a look at the archive page on www.njir.net to see the playoff games we have done in 2016 and 17.
I totally realize that nj.com paid for the rights. However, if this giant media company, Advance Communication which is behind dozens of other nj.com type websites around the country really believes that our little tiny Mom and Pop, no, just a Pop radio website in any way would put a serious dent in what is a giant operation, something is wrong at nj.com.
NJ.Com’s parent Advance Communications is a giant, incredibly successful, private company employing 12,000 people. It is a great American success story. This is not at all about a big business stomping on a little guy even though that is exactly what this is. This is about what is wrong with high school sports.
In no way is New Jersey Internet Radio a threat to Advance Communications and nj.com nor do we ever intend to be. Our love for radio and high school football is what drives us to what we do. If our little company brings in 5 figures in a year it is a great year. We make expenses, that it. It is truly in the spirit of all those local radio stations that have gone away that we do what we do. WERA, WJDM, WBIO, WRAN and so many others that use to do high school football every Saturday afternoon. It’s about bringing the equipment to a game site, setting it up, doing a game. It’s about us getting out of the big time NYC radio stations we are on every day and getting back to our radio roots. It’s about high school football which in my view is as big of a part of America as apple pie. We don’t do this for money; we do it for the love of the game and the fun of radio. We have done hundreds of regular season football, girls and boys basketball, lacrosse, baseball etc. over the years and if you have seen us at a game, you know it’s not about the money.
I would hope that NJ.Com and the NJSIAA keep in mind moving forward, that this is not the Super Bowl. It’s High School football. High School Football. We have been grated the rights to playoff games for well over a decade and never, not one time were ever turned down in the past. Not Once! Why this year? What’s different?
I am sure this will be ignored and this is just the way things are now. High School Sports is becoming all about one thing, money. Perhaps it is time for NJIR to go the way of the dodo, the three sports athlete and all of those small local radio stations. I hope not. I really feel we fill a void. We do local games with local people and do a damn good job. Yes we have sponsors but that just to defer our costs. Anyone who doesn’t believe that can talk to our accountant www.njir.net It’s about the love of the game and the love we all have for grass roots radio.
Hopefully this note will get some attention and open a conversation. NJ Internet Radio is not threat to anyone, certainly not NJ.com. We wish them well this playoff season.
- Joe Nolan Founder - New Jersey Internet Radio Network LLC