Monday, June 11, 2012

NBC to launch sports radio programming

Hiestand: NBC trots out its radio voice –
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Surrounded by huge growth in podcasts and other digital sports audio, NBC Sports' latest attempt to expand its brand seems a bit 20th-century: a foray into sports talk radio.

In September, NBC and distributor Dial Global will wade in to radio programming, a genre in which ESPN has been aggressive for years — now airing more than 9,000 hours of programming annually over 700 stations.

"We'll start with hourly sports updates and one-, two-minute daily essays you could compare to what Charles Kuralt or Paul Harvey did," says Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president of NBC Sports Ventures and International. (NBC probably shouldn't cite those radio voices of yore if it wants to pitch its new programming as cutting-edge.)
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If NBC is smart, they'll focus their efforts on football crazy sections of the US--the upper midwest, south central and the southeast. If they're really smart, they'll produce college-centric programming just in time for college football season.

If they're really dumb, they'll have one- or two-minute essays from Bob Costas on historic moments in Major League Baseball, the Olympics or God forbid... Hockey.

Get Costas talking about historic Iron Bowls, Third Saturdays in October and the storied rivalries of Michigan - Ohio State and  Texas - Oklahoma and people will listen.