Georgia State University’s deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to air programs from its radio network WRAS 88.5 FM made the future of broadcasts from the Georgia State Sports Radio Network on 88.5 uncertain.
An unscientific, three-week survey of Georgia State students conducted by The Signal found that roughly 75 percent of students prefer that broadcasts of its sports teams be broadcast WRAS instead of Dickey Broadcasting’s WIFN-AM 1340 The Fan 3, the Georgia State Sports Radio Network’s flagship station.
Students that supported the idea of Panther broadcasts remaining on 88.5 said it would only be fitting that Georgia State’s teams air on its radio station.
“I would rather that Georgia State-related events remain on a Georgia State radio station instead of them being sold off to a third party like GPB,” junior Jenny Choo said, who is majoring in studio art.
Some in the student body believe the shifting of the radio network to a non-university station is another element of the GPB deal that makes WRAS feel less like the “student voice of Georgia State.”
“Colleges should be about the student population, and that includes our sports teams airing on our radio station,” senior psychology major Ashley Kennedy said. “It is really a shame that they have taken away a treasured institution like WRAS away from the students.”
While the majority preferred that the Georgia State Sports Radio Network broadcast on the more powerful 88.5 FM, some did prefer that Georgia State sports air on The Fan 3.
“I would prefer that our team’s broadcasts be heard on 1340 because I prefer that sports stay on sports stations,” economics major Patrick Sharp said. “When I tune into 88.5, I expect to hear music.”
Others echoed similar sentiments believing that broadcasting sports on WRAS would cut into hours for students to broadcast music even more than what the GPB deal already has.
“They have already cut enough into WRAS’ student hours with them giving our daytime hours to Georgia Public Broadcasting, so airing our sports teams on 88.5 now ultimately means even more hours cut from students,” said junior art major Zdenka Adams.
When the university announced that the daytime hours of 88.5 will air programming from Georgia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, the official press release also revealed that football broadcasts would still air on 88.5. Promotional posters for the upcoming Georgia State football season still feature the WRAS logo.
Georgia State football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball home conference games were all broadcast on The Fan 3 last season while simultaneously broadcasting on WRAS.
Women’s basketball and roughly 20 baseball games were exclusively broadcast on WRAS while—for the first time—softball had roughly 10 games streamed online through WRAS.
The Georgia State Sports Radio Network broadcasted 95 sporting events, roughly 300 hours of programming, on WRAS during the 2013-14 season, according to Georgia State Athletics.
Georgia State University President Dr. Mark Becker told The Signal back in Junethat sports broadcasts will continue to air throughout metro Atlanta, even if they weren’t on 88.5.
More information about the Georgia State Sports Radio Network can be seen here.