Friday, July 31, 2009

Why SNY May Not Be an Option for Point Blank

As Islanders fans everywhere mourn the potential loss of Islanders Point Blank, they have offered no shortage of fix-it schemes to keep alive the best source of insider news, analysis, and storytelling the Islanders community has ever had.

One of the most popular suggestions is that Point Blank operator Chris Botta contact SNY about moving the blog to SNY.TV's blog network, which has Matt Cerrone's wildly successful MetsBlog as its flagship.

Last September, I wrote the following:

"If Chris Botta's new Islanders Point Blank blog (site not yet active) is as promised, 24/7 coverage (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), then the Islanders community is in for a treat. Botta can do for the Islanders what Matt Cerrone has done for the Mets, but with the credibility and contacts in place from the very start."
Mission accomplished.

Obviously, Point Blank, from the perspective of content, is a perfect fit for SNY, which lacks an Islanders blog. But do we really think that the network is going to offer Chris the kind of compensation that would allow him to continue blogging full time and still take care of his family? Unfortunately, I don't see it—not in this economic climate, not with major partners at SNY having lost $700 million. Someone is going to have to prove how the network could make enough money from Point Blank to consider footing the bill for its resources AND paying the writer an acceptable salary.

Then there's this.

A while back I contacted a significant figure at SNY about them not having an Islanders blog to see what the site's interest would be in adding one (not even mine, necessarily—it would take a good crew of bloggers contributing, assuming they weren't paying much, if at all). Here's what he told me:
"As of now, they only have interest in a Rangers blog, which, frankly, isn't doing very much traffic, so I think hockey is taking a back seat."

Of course, at the time, no one was talking about the Islanders blog being Point Blank, with its impressive traffic, engaged community, and international reputation for excellence.

Anyway, that's what we're up against as far as the SNY option for Point Blank.

Whatever happens, I wish Chris the best of luck and hope we continue to hear from him, whether in a professional capacity or at his pleasure.

If I'm being totally honest, I'll tell you that Point Blank made things difficult for those of us who do this on a part-time basis. It was a challenge to have anything meaningful to say and not feel pushed to the margins in the shadow of the constant and exceptional coverage that Point Blank provided. Trying to keep up was never even a consideration.

That being said, I hope along with everyone else that the challenge continues. It would be a shame to have something so good go away.

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