Broadcasting live from Jerusalem on the internet radio over the past two years,
reaching listeners in over 100 countries around the world, IsraelSportsRadio.com
has plans to take their ‘game’ to the next level.
According to Ari Louis,
IsraelSportsRadio.com’s CEO, his goal for the near future is to sign a deal with
a major sports radio broadcasting network in the United States so that they will
feature his topnotch programming, which in recent weeks has included interviews
with some of the most well known athletes, sports analysts and other sports
broadcasters from around the world.
“We are looking at several options,”
says Louis. “We’ve been in touch with Fox Sports Radio, ESPN and even the Sirius
Satellite Radio provider in the United States.
“There has been some
serious interest expressed in our content on their
IsraelSportsRadio.com’s featured program and self-proclaimed
‘Best Sports Show in the Eastern Hemisphere,’ is called Louis Live with Louis
himself hosting along with world sports aficionado Raphael Geller. The show will
air in a new time slot starting at the end of July, from 6-8 p.m. Israel
Geller has been with the station for the past six months as a host
and media relations director, after living in one of America’s premier college
sports towns - Bloomington, Indiana.
He followed the Hoosier State’s
storied basketball culture during the Bobby Knight years in which the school won
three Men’s NCAA national basketball championships.
Indiana sports and the entire Big Ten Conference scene for the BeyondU Sports
website. He currently blogs on a variety of sports websites, and is a
contributor to The Times of Israel news website.
It is Geller’s
persistence and determination in making IsraelSportsRadio.com a success that has
motivated him to book top notch guests for Louis Live.
have been conducted with the very controversial Pete Rose – who was banned from
baseball for gambling in spite of holding the record for most career hits –
three-time World Series champion and MVP pitcher Curt Shilling, as well as
ESPN’s well-know NBA analyst Marc Stein.
In addition, Louis and Geller
have recently interviewed legendary ESPN soccer commentator Tommy Smyth to get
an overview of the recently completed 2012 European Championship, along with an
expert analysis on Champion’s League play and other premiere football
Geller says his most challenging interview to schedule was
with Oakland Athletics co-owner Lewis Wolff, who he finally tracked down after a
few months of trying while on vacation in France.
Despite the difficult
task, he says that he makes 10-15 interview requests a day, working directly
with the teams as well as publicists, media relations officials and other
connections he has developed over the years.
“It’s hard work,” he says,
“but the key is persistence.
“However, once you become connected to the
right people and the interview does happen, we’ve found out that these
celebrities are more than willing and even eager to come on our show
Lewis and Geller also take an interest in athletes making an
impact on the local scene.
Recently, they have focused on reaching out to
athletes from abroad who are living in Israel to find out what it’s like being a
professional athlete in a foreign country and getting the inside scoop on their
In addition, both say they would like to focus more on
promoting women’s sports in Israel such as the recent interview done with Diana
Redman, a top player on Israel’s National Football team.
The duo also
hope the station can be used to showcase Israeli and Jewish personalities from
around the world who are using their talents to paint Israel and Judaism in a
They are planning to interview a spokesperson from the IDF as
well as Edan Pinchot, the openly observant Jewish musical talent who is
currently in the running to win first place on the hit US television show
America’s Got Talent.
Lewis is optimistic that the hard work put in by
Geller and the rest of the Israel Sports Radio team will pay off in the form of
a deal with a major station.
“The bottom line,” says Lewis, “is that here
we are two years later trying to expand our reach to as many listeners as
possible and trying to fulfill our original mission statement of building love
of Israel one sports fan at a time.”
The writer is a freelance journalist
and the host of “Reality Bytes Radio” on www.israelnationalradio.com