Ever since they've become the owners of just about every major sports team in Buffalo, Terry and Kim Pegula have shown that they're willing to invest in their new teams and in Western New York as a whole. Whether it be the construction of Harbor Center, new locker rooms, bringing marquee events like the draft to town, or the popularity of #OneBuffalo, the Pegulas have taken many steps to show how much they want to help with the resurgence of the region.
One thing that Western New York sports fans have been asking for since Terry's first Sabres press conference is a return of Empire Sports, or another regional sports network focused on Western New York and its many teams. Now, thanks to some internet sleuthing, we may have an indicator that a regional sport network might be in the works.
We saw this last night thanks to Ben Mathewson, Chris Ostrander, and Bradley Gelber, and if you follow the link in the tweet above, you'll see job postings by Pegula Sports & Entertainment for a Graphics Producer, Production Assistant, Technical Director, and Associate Producer, with the last two also being posted on the NHL's Hockey Jobs site.
In the description of those positions and their responsibilities, we see the word "simulcasting" appear in each one, describing the simulcast of a five hour block of football and hockey. Simulcasting is the act of broadcasting a radio show on television at the same time, like what ESPN does with Mike & Mike every morning. The Pegulas already have a block of "state run" radio every weekday with Hockey Hotline and The John Murphy Show, and as much as I listen to those two shows, I don't think it's ESPN that's picking either of them up for simulcasting.
So where will these shows be broadcast? The team could do something more small scale, like simulcasting those shows online, but barring another crazy regional MSG split like there was a few years ago, where we'd get Sabres games with Rangers intermission reports in WNY, I can't think of another way that five hours of daily Buffalo sports talk radio gets on television other than with a regional sports network.
The Technical Director position posted above will also have "Other duties assigned including assistance on/during Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres game days," according to the description. Could this be something like getting highlights or replays for a pre/post game show or a nightly recap show? Or is that speculating too far and will this person just provide some assistance in the booth for pre-existing shows?
This is still just speculation based off of four job postings, and this doesn't mean anything will happen soon, but our own sports network is something that Western New Yorks fans have been clamoring for since the Pegulas bought the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, and Rochester Americans, and with all those franchises now under the PS&E label, there's plenty of content there for the taking. Make some deals to broadcast Bisons games, UB/Canisius/Niagara games, add in some high school sports talk, some nightly highlight shows, and a few other niche offerings and you're starting to see a full-ish network slate.
What do you think, are these job openings the first step to bringing Empire Sports (or whatever they're going to call it) back, or are we making mountains out of molehills? Give us your thoughts in the comments.