Senators turn to internet broadcasting to reach fans

📝 by Joel Vanderlaan | AHL On The Beat

This past summer, the Belleville Senators were looking for an alternative for their audio broadcasts. Ultimately, the organization determined that developing their own Belleville Sens Entertainment Network (BSEN) made the most sense.

BSEN allows the franchise, its partners and advertisers to reach the broadest possible audience while giving fans the most in terms of production value and complete coverage.

Audio of all Senators games is available through the team’s website, Mixlr page and mobile app, as the Sens join a growing group of American Hockey League clubs that have already committed to web broadcasting. Pacific Division teams have been especially quick to adopt the format, and some teams even offer 24-hour programming.

Belleville Senators manager of broadcast and communications David Foot is extremely pleased with the new format.

“It’s been all positive,” Foot said. “The ability to have control over our product and our message is important for us moving forward.

“I think there is a benefit to traditional radio and traditional media. But this is certainly the best way from an accessibility standpoint; anyone can get their own streaming platform and reach people all over the world. The more that we educate people about the network, how we’re doing things now and how easy it is to be able to tune in, I think the more we’re going to see a jump in listenership.”

Well known to AHL fans, Foot is one of the most engaging broadcast personalities in the league, with a unique style that combines enthusiasm with the hockey knowledge of a true student of the game. It is appropriate, therefore, that he provides commentary and analysis on all broadcasts.

Over the course of his 15 years in sports broadcasting, the Loyalist College graduate has built an impressive archive. Since 2017, Belleville Senators fans have learned to rely on his charismatic voice as they cheer on their hometown team. BSEN offers a new way to appreciate his insights. With a veteran broadcaster and an innovative delivery approach, the Senators have the capability to bring their games to the forefront.

“In terms of the name and calling it a network, there’s a lot of content we’re creating as a group, and we wanted somewhere that we can showcase that stuff and help people follow our team, hear the stories, find their favorite player and be able to get connected, so it made a lot of sense to link it to our YouTube page as well.”

Since the start of the season, the AHL Senators have seen considerable success not only with the broadcast but the entirety of the network, gaining 2,605 unique listens throughout the first month of the campaign while also being recognized in The Hockey News.