WFAN Just Obliterated Mike Francesa's Most Effective Marketer

WFAN Audio, the internet's largest repository of Mike Francesa clips, was decimated today, as WFAN/CBS issued takedown notices on hundreds of YouTube videos. This is only notable to that small subset of the population who cares what Francesa's up to, but that's kind of the point—even fewer people are going to care without these clips.

The unknown fan who has uploaded the clips for years broke the news on Twitter today:

That last one's on point, so there's really no controversy here. CBS is within their rights to go after anyone sharing their copyrighted material. This was a cold, businesslike carpet-bombing of Youtube by CBS's legal team, not the outcome of some specific vendetta against the WFAN Audio guy. Nothing personal.

But here's the thing—if there's a black market for Mike Francesa clips, it's because WFAN is doing a piss-poor job of marketing him. As has been pointed out, the most popular Youtube clips draw more views than Francesa's FS1 simulcast draws viewers. There's really no reason for a media company not to make its best content digestible, accessible, and shareable.

The NHL and MLB have made amazing strides on this front in the past few years, and as a result, if you want to watch or embed a hockey or baseball highlight, your first instinct now is to go directly to the source. You want to hear what Francesa had to say? The audio clips on the official site are unembeddable, overlong, and never highlight the Mike-just-being-Mike miscellany people actually want to hear. It's nothing like the communal experience that sports talk radio is at its best.

WFAN Audio guy was doing a service for Francesa fans, and providing excellent and free PR for the show. CBS went after him, so now someone else will pop in his stead. Legal whack-a-mole taking the place of effective fan engagement. That's no way to run a business.