Late last summer, sports talk radio host Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York announced that the station would soon be releasing a mobile application that would revolutionize sports radio and would soon be duplicated by stations across the country. The NFL season came and went, but last week Francesa finally announced the sports app, Audio Roadshow, is ready and available (but only for the iPhone).
Though there are certainly some unique features within the app, “revolutionary” may be overstating it just a bit. But maybe we should give Francesa a break considering he’s been pretty vocal in the past about his disdain for Facebook, Twitter, and emerging technologies in general and probably shouldn’t be considered an expert.
Regardless, Audio Roadshow is already ranked in the top 5 in the App Store (which speaks to the size of the show and its influence) and is worth taking a deeper look at.
What’s Inside The WFAN Sports App
Show Schedule, Topics, and Listen Live
From the “Lineup” tab, fans of the show can discover:
- What Francesa is going to talk about that day.
- What guests are on the show and when they will be interviewed.
- Who is currently (live) on the show.
All useful information, but these features could just as easily be executed with a Twitter account, and they could even inject their account’s tweets directly into the app. Francesa also has the ability to voice his opinion in this space if a big story breaks during off-show hours. For example, after Jeremy Lin recently led the Knicks to an improbable victory over the Lakers, Francesa provided some insight about the story. Again, THIS is exactly what Twitter is for.
The Audio Roadshow also allows fans to stream the show live on their iPhone. This is a great feature, and has been available for quite some time on radio apps such as Sirius, Pandora, and iHeartRadio just to name a few.
- Spot Polls: The spot polls allow Francesa and his staff to ask listeners multiple choice questions about various topics. For instance, they recently asked listeners how many games they thought the Mets would win this season. They also have the ability to ask real-time questions during interviews.
- 10-Seconds of Glory: The most unique feature of the Audio Roadshow, “10 Seconds of Glory,” enables listeners to record a 10-second rant about a chosen topic by Francesa and his staff. The show still fields its normal calls, but this is more of a rapid-fire aspect of the show where Francesa plays 5-10 recordings in-a-row.
What Is The WFAN Sports App Missing?
After they announced the app and its features, there was immediate backlash on Twitter and the hashtag #FutureMikeFrancesaInventions was the top trending topic in New York City, mocking Francesa mainly because of his proclamation that the app would be “revolutionary.” Though the reaction may have been a bit over-the-top, there are a few features that could improve Audio Roadshow:
- Podcasts: Audio Roadshow delivers the ability to listen to the show live, why not allow people to listen to previous shows or interviews? They already have podcasts available in iTunes, so the integration into the app should be fairly simple.
- Video: The show is also broadcasted live on the YES Network so they have plenty of video clips that could become available within the app. The hurdle here would be additional contractual agreements with YES.
- Social Features: There are a few simple ways that Audio Roadshow could integrate a layer of social media to it:
- As previously mentioned, adding WFAN’s Twitter stream into the app.
- Displaying listener comments on Twitter by utilizing hashtags that Francesa could announce.
- Sharing features: The spot polls and especially the 10-Second of Glory clips are naturally sharable content that the users could brag about to their friends on Facebook and Twitter, and could create a viral effect for the app.
Overall, CBS and WFAN achieved their goal of increasing fan interaction with the show, but there are several features that could enhance that experience further.
Do you know of another radio show sports app? Tweet us or leave your thoughts about this fantastic app below!