StreamGuys Lifts Sharks Into the Streams

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In January 2021, a 20-year run ended when San Jose Sharks play-by-play departed the airwaves of Bonneville International-owned KUFX “98.5 KFOX.”


What did the team do? It launched digital delivery of its game-day coverage — and more. Today, a 24/7 audio network exists for the Sharks, and its fueled by a StreamGuys application.

Specifically, it is the SGrecast offering that manages all podcast automation, rebroadcasting and live streaming across multiple platforms for the Sharks Audio Network. Delivering a mix of live regular season and Stanley Cup playoff games alongside a packed schedule of on-demand content, the team produces a full program of interviews, player profiles, replays, pre-game shows, highlight packages, lifestyle programs and live news.

With a background in radio, veteran play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky is also involved in all areas of audio production. Now in his 33rd year with the Sharks, he is ideally placed to keep fans across all the action from what the locals refer to as the “Shark Tank.”

“I am best known as the play-by-play commentator for the San Jose Sharks, but I also operate the Shark’s audio network and, along with our staff, coordinate everything related to audio production,” says Rusanowsky, who has been with the Sharks since the team was formed in 1991. “I was charged with setting up radio network coverage, so managing audio has always been a normal part of operations for me,” he adds. “When we went 24 hours it expanded everything we were doing.”

Having worked with StreamGuys since 2019, Rusanowsky turned to its SGrecast SaaS platform to help him convert and republish live content, expand the platform’s distribution, and monetize the Sharks’ online footprint to get a bigger bite of their overseas fanbase. With most listeners accessing its stream on the Sharks Plus SAP Center app, the San Jose Sharks website also uses the SGrecast player to provide a dedicated hookup.

“Although we still have a terrestrial radio network in Northern California, we don’t currently have a flagship radio station in the Bay Area, and we decided to push people toward our 24-hour programming on the app,” says Rusanowsky. “It gives us access to people in places we have never been able to reach before, and SGrecast makes it very easy to continue to deliver programming to the NHL and to our partners at Skyview Satellite for our terrestrial affiliates.”

SGrecast acts as a bank which manages all team programming, and automatically archives the content. “SGrecast’s record capability gives us an aircheck of a game within minutes of the program finishing,” Rusanowsky says. “It means we can edit and repackage quickly; we can upload a condensed version for reuse, remove outdated commercials, or edit out any mistakes on the live broadcast, and re-upload them wither in the same or in a different space. SGrecast makes it very easy.”

The Sharks’ approach to generating content means it now has a dedicated studio at the SAP Center that replaces the studio that they would have had at the radio station, and being in full control of content means that not only are more people getting hooked on the Sharks, but the team is also better able to monetize content for even greater return.

“Terrestrial radio still does live programming very well, but I think that that’s starting to change with the younger population,” Rusanowsky notes. “Operating across multiple channels allows us to utilize our programming for client acquisition as well as client retention, and the Sharks Audio Network is an outstanding way to make sure that our fans stay engaged with the product.”

“Dan’s production creativity has led to exciting republishing workflows where the Sharks repurpose on-demand content as live, and live as on-demand,” says StreamGuys’ Neil Carducci, its Quality Assurance Tester.

Rusanowsky adds that they are using StreamGuys’ ad insertion technology to inject commercials into non-live programming, and the analytics helps them share with advertisers how many impressions the ads are getting, who they are reaching and who is finding their product. Meanwhile, SGreports tells them who, where and when people are listening to the full stream, helping them identify regions where interest is strong, and target marketing in those areas.

“It’s like expanding transmitter coverage to an infinite area and doing it with full digital quality. I think a lot of organizations with smaller audiences would find it very valuable,” he concludes. “If you can get a signal out and get an audience, and do it in a very cost-effective way, there’s no reason why anybody wouldn’t want to do it.”

— Reporting by Brian Galante, in Boston, with additional reporting and editing by Adam R Jacobson in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

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