1070 The Fan's David Wood, program director for the station, was kind enough to get back to me regarding our 'Bill Polian Show' story and was able to clarify some of the questions we had.
For starters, David was not the program director at 1070 The Fan back in December when, after the Week Sixteen episode of 'The Bill Polian Show,' the Internet stream was terminated. At that time, Kent Sterling was the program director. This is the very same Kent Sterling who, after our 'Bill Polian Show' Week Sixteen incident article became a national story, released a very passive-aggressive press release attacking me for 'spreading an ill-informed and spurrious rumor.'
Of course, we got all 'grammar Nazi' on Kent for misspelling the word spurious, but that little bit was more in jest compared to the rest of our response to him.
Kent clearly didn't know what he was talking about when he wrote his release, and would have been better served to read our blog in order to get the full story rather than tossing out 'ill-informed and spurious rumors' about Stampede Blue. Sterling was let go less than a month after the Week Sixteen radio show incident, and (we assume) replaced by David Wood.
So, for current program director David Wood to give me answers as to why the Internet stream has been unavailable since the infamous Week Sixteen episode isn't appropriate. What's important to note is that he personally was not approached by the Colts and was not 'bullied' into shutting down the stream.
However, David did tell me that the Internet broadcasting rights for the show are owned solely by the Colts, and that, currently, no station or media entity is allowed to broadcast the show via the Internet. The Colts must approve this in order for it to happen. David also explained that the 'blackout' message played during the show Monday night was an error. 1070 The Fan simply used the standard message they normally have for events they cannot broadcast because of blackouts. He said that message will likely be changed, and thanked me for pointing it out to him and his team.
When I asked him, point-blank, why the Internet feed was shutdown after years of it being available, David said he could not speculate because, again, he wasn't the program director back when it happened. For me, that's fair. I'm not going to ask someone to guess what happened when he wasn't in charge when it happened.
After the jump, I have the official response from the Colts themselves, along with a few other notes and observations.
When I approached the Colts for an official statement on this story, a spokesman for the team said that the Internet stream was shutdown in December of last year because the Colts were concerned about their advertisers. I assume this means that, when advertisers pay the Colts for air time on 'The Bill Polian Show,' they are not paying for air time on the Internet stream. This means ad time on the stream is, essentially, free. Thus, the stream was terminated.
[UPDATE NOTE]: Folks in the comments are saying that commercial breaks during 'The Bill Polian Show's' Internet stream were muted, making the Colts' statement regarding their advertisers a bit more confusing.
When I asked the Colts why they decided to do this at that particular time, and the negative perception towards the team that it created, the team spokesman told me that people were simply putting two and two together without any right answer. The spokesman then re-iterated that the Internet stream was taken down in order to benefit the Colts' advertisers.
As of today, there are no plans to re-instate it.
Many thanks to David Wood at 1070 The Fan and the Indianapolis Colts for their statements on this story.
OK. Now it's BBS opinion time.
While I am thankful to the Colts for providing me with a statement, I still question the timing of and the reasoning for canceling the Internet feed. If there was real concern about advertisers, why was the stream allowed for years? It's not like this thing was up for a week or two. Since it had been going, again, for years, why not wait until the season was over to kill the stream? To kill it at that time, following that specific episode, was pretty bad PR. It was perceived by fans fans as yet another slap in the face. Obviously, the Colts are saying any suggestions that the stream was cut because of how certain fans reacted to Polian on that show is not correct.
Again, many Colts fans see things differently, and no offense to the team, but the whole 'Well, that's a difference of opinion' excuse that they often employ when people challenge them on their statements just isn't going to cut it here.
The problem is, since actions often speak louder than words, nothing the Colts are saying is going to be taken seriously. When you cut an Internet feed one week after a very confrontational episode that garnered national attention, that action is going to resonate louder than any excuse you can come up with, regardless of whether it's genuine or not. For me, the Colts statement truly does not squash the perception that they killed the feed because, as Mike Florio puts it, "the Internet audience is far more likely to include those who may transcribe and repeat his words in a manner that may expose inconsistencies or express criticism of Polian."
Regarding 1070's statements, I'm satisfied. I don't think they are 'Colts water-carriers.' Sounds to me like they were running the stream, per usual, and then after the 2009 Week Sixteen episode, the Colts told them to stop. Since the Colts own the Internet streaming rights to the show, 1070 had to comply. I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts didn't even give 1070 a reason. They probably just told them to stop, and 1070 simply had to.
Again, I have my own personal opinions about why we don't have an Internet stream for 'The Bill Polian Show,' and those opinions have changed little since I've dug deeper into this. Clearly, the Colts could care less what I or you think about it all, which is very unfortunate. They also seem to have little sympathy for out-of-state fans who enjoyed that show and now have no method of listening to it.
For those of you who have sent me emails and posted comments that have encouraged me to pursue this story, thank you. I'm especially grateful to people serving in the Armed Forces overseas who contracted me and pushed me to keep at this. At one point I considered letting this thing go because, realistically, when you challenge the Colts in the local Indianapolis media market, you are going to piss people off. But, when I started reading comments like this, it put things into perspective for me and gave me additional will to move forward. Thank you.
Speaking of moving forward, if we get additional information as to why the show's Internet stream is unavailable, we'll let you know. Again, there are no plans (that I'm aware of) to offer the stream this season. For those of you Colts fans who live overseas or in other states who cannot listen in on the show, don't worry. Stampede Blue will pull out the old AM-FM radio we have, tune into 1070 on Monday nights, and offer a Tuesday morning recap of all the 'Bill Polian Show' goodies.
As always, thanks for reading my ramblings. For those of you wishing this site had a 'filter' that would remove undesirable writers (aka, me) from the blog roll, sorry but it ain't happening. Stampede Blue is here to report and comment on all Colts news, good and bad. For those of you who are still reading this, thanks for your continued support of this blog.