The Montreal Impact, frustrated that it hasn’t been able to reach a broadcasting agreement in French-language radio, has taken the unusual step of turning to a university radio station.
The Impact had been in talks with Cogeco for games to air on CHMP 98.5FM in Montreal, which also airs Canadiens games and Alouettes games now that CKAC Sports no longer exists. But with news and sports sharing the same station, there wasn’t enough room on the schedule for all the games.
The Impact has deals for English radio (CJAD), English television (TSN/TSN2) and French television (shared by RDS and TVA Sports), but nothing for French radio so far, opening the door for CISM.
“It was actually their idea to come to us,” said Impact president Joey Saputo. “I guess they thought it was a joke or something, but we took it seriously and once we expressed interest, they took it seriously too.”
Université de Montréal’s CISM 89.3 FM will broadcast home games only (they don’t have the budget to do away games) for the season, with a broadcast team made up mostly of student volunteers. Gilles Nohnsépavré, who was named head of a new sports department at CISM, said the students would be teamed up with some broadcast veterans. There’s no word on who would form the on-air broadcast team yet, but Nohnsépavré said the plan is to team a professional play-by-play man with one or more student analysts.
CISM’s first Impact game will be next weekend, when the Toronto FC visit Olympic Stadium. The game begins at noon.