Sports

IPSN brings local sports to fans online

By AARON MANAGHAN

Central Kitsap Reporter

Sports fans on the Kitsap Peninsula have become familiar with Kevin Mac as the voice of the Kitsap BlueJackets and Olympic College athletics.

But after seven years of terrestrial broadcasts, Mac is taking his voice — and Kitsap-area sports — to cyberspace.

Late last month, Mac debuted the Internet Sports Network, or ISPN Sports, an Internet-based weekly radio show centered around local sports.

“This is just an opportunity I wanted to do for a long time,” Mac said. “I’m just happy I can do it for the community. It’s something we need.”

Known as K-Mac to his listeners, Mac has been the public address announcer for the Kitsap BlueJackets for four years and for the Olympic College Rangers for seven.

A 1980 graduate of North Mason High School in Belfair, Mac began his broadcasting career with KKFX doing Metro League football games in Seattle. From 1999 to 2001, he hosted a local sports show on KITZ before spending 2002 as the play-by-play broadcaster for The Evergreen State College in Olympia.

In starting up the Internet-based show, Mac said he hopes to fill a void in terms of radio sports coverage in Kitsap County.

“I’ve heard a lot about the good old days,” Mac said, referring to local stations that used to broadcast area sports. “If it wasn’t OC stuff, it was high school stuff. I’ve heard that from a lot of people.”

That coverage now comes primarily from the local newspapers. Mac said while the papers in Kitsap County do a good job covering sports, radio as a medium allows for a more intimate telling of games, athletes, coaches and more, as broadcasting is not confined to a finite space like its print counterparts.

“It’s good to read it in the paper, but you don’t always get that live stuff, or even just talking to the coach,” Mac said. “Now they can rattle it all off.”

With both live streaming and on-demand options, Mac said he wanted to give fans an opportunity to either catch games they couldn’t attend, hear moments they missed or relive favorite moments.

Another advantage is it gives fans listening to games an alternative when the inevitable occurs.

“There might be a rain delay during the game,” Mac said. “They can sit there and go, ‘Hey, I’ll listen to last night’s game, or (former Kitsap BlueJacket Brandon) Kuykendall’s home run.’ ”

When Mac goes live at 8 a.m. on Saturdays at www.ispnsports.com, he fills the airwaves with interviews, insights as well as live action between the OC and Green River baseball teams, which kicks off the season at 1 p.m. at Legion Field in Bremerton. He hopes to have broadcasting partner Kevin Chambers with him as well, something that didn't work out for the first show.

“I was nervous,” Mac said of flying solo for the opener. “It’s certainly a lot different than broadcasting baseball or football to jump in behind the mike to blab on for five hours.”

The show, which airs live from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., is replayed throughout the day and is available on demand 24/7. Despite not advertising or widely publicizing the show yet, Mac reached double-digit listeners in his first show.

“We had double-digit numbers,” he said. “I’m going, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ I haven’t advertised yet. That was just by telling people what I have going on.”

The range has been wide so far, as Mac said he’s received e-mails from fans as far away as New York and Japan.

While Mac’s coverage will provide a service to the Kitsap Peninsula community directly, his work also will provide insight for fans of teams that travel to Kitsap, something he believes can particularly benefit Olympic College and the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC). OC agreed to let Mac broadcast each of its games on ISPN.

“I didn’t just want to cover the Rangers exclusively,” Mac said. “I wanted to cover the NWAACC. It’s good for their communities as well.”

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