@Jeff: CC/Tampa hasn't taken sports competition in the market seriously mostly because they haven't taken 1010 seriously as a competitor. With the announcement of CBS' new network, plus ESPN defecting from 1040 both happening within 24 hours of the start of this thread, CC may need to make a sports move on FM with all of the competition in the market. However...
@Mike: While sports is a better suited spoken word demo for 25-54, I figured news/talk might be a more convenient option for Tampa, particularly with hurricane season rearing its ugly head each year... Hence why CC may find it hard to decide between news/talk and sports on FM.
CC has not had any type of competition with "Animal" since it debuted in the 90's on 1250, except when CBS had the Bucs and Cox had the Lightning (ironically, on 620)
1010 is a late comer to the sports talk. That station spent the most of its best time (the last 30 years) as a simulcast of 99.5. It hasn't had anything to carry it past the boasting of "something new coming to 1010". I don't think there ever will because of signal. At 50kw, as Scotty said, " We're running in circles and at Warp 9, we're going nowhere pretty fast".
CC's trifecta of Rays, Bucs, and Bolts leaves the other stations to just talk about the teams and as useful idiots of promoting the competition's next 3 hours of programming leading into the game.
1.)I think CBS will get the Bucs back. I wouldn't be surprised to see them with the Rays, either. The financial health of CC is an issue. Those contracts are going to be steep.
2.)The Rays need the money since the corporate draw from the Trop is not pulling what they need and the owners, on down, bad mouth the stadium and leave blotches on the field instead of a groomed surface as in the other parks, broadcast rights are the next step.
3.)Fox is willing to pay whatever it takes because Sunsports has nothing else and big screen HDTVs are flying off the shelves at Wal-Mart, further hurting attendance.
This is a big stakes game I see getting very much bigger especially with what started in New York with Disney getting visible in the mix.
But, remember cross-pollination is not comfortable at all. CBS owns WTOG but doesn't carry its CBS programming, instead WTSP does. We may see a change there, too.
My feeling is, something is going to break and we are hearing the tree branches cracking.
Jeff in Sa-ra-so-ta!