In a joint announcement made today, NBC Sports Network and Dial Global Sports will team up to form the NBC Sports Radio Network. For most media fans, this is good news. Instead of having NBC Sports personnel like Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Beadle, Al Michaels, BobCostas, Tony Dungy, and many others appear once a week on ESPN Radio and other media groups, you will have a select group that will host daily radio shows. Groups like The Two Stews could very well be finding themselves with a national radio feed to broadcast on daily instead of doing every few months as guest hosts for Dan Patrick.
One of the big targets with this group is The Dan Patrick Show. Most people know The Dan Patrick Show isn't produced by Fox Sports. Yet it airs nationwide on Fox Sports Radio and on FSN. Dan and the Danettes may very easily be finding themselves with a new radio home with NBC Sports radio Network.
Perhaps the most interesting thing mentioned isn't about the shows. They specifically mention that NBC Sports radio network will carry a large amount of Dial Global Sports coverage. In some cases, like with the olympics, this is easy to understand since Dial Global Sports produces radio broadcasts for the Olympics thanks to a current contract with NBC Sports. This coverage could grow a lot more though.
Think about it. The NHL hasn't had a radio home since Westwood One dumped them back in 2006. Could it be inconceivable to see NBC Sports Radio Network doing play-by-play coverage of the NHL conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals? What about their NCAA contracts with the MWC, CAA, and Ivy League? If I were NBC Sports Radio network, I would be working on buying out the MWC Radio Network contract. I would then produce the radio broadcasts for every game in the CAA and MWC men's basketball tournaments and do the women's championship games to. They have the exclusive TV rights already, and Dial Global has the men's basketball Championship game rights. Expand it further. It also allows you to gain ground on groups like ESPN Radio (Big 12 & ACC) and Compass Media Networks (Big 10). Ironically the Pac-12 and SEC have their rights with Dial Global. How about during football and basketball season? Honestly, in order to get a step above the radio competition on Saturday, how about simulcasting your Ivy League, CAA, and MWC games of the week on NBC Sports Radio Network? Or if you can't do that, how about buying out a group that has struggled to get radio affiliates, like Touchdown Radio Productions, and having them produce a game of the week?
I truly believe NBC Sports Radio Network has the talent to proceed within staff already. Many Comcast Regional Network hosts have their own community shows already. It won't be that hard to transition them to the national stage. However you need additional content to pull people away from Fox Sports Radio and Yahoo! Radio. Play-by-play for sports may very well be the key. We have already seen the Angels enter into a baseball contract for a Game-of-the-Week on Compass Media though most weeks it's two games). Let NBC Sports Radio Network do the same. Enter into a contract with a team already within house (like the Cubs) that will get national attention and do one or two games of the week during baseball. Get rights to do additional Golf coverage (currently The US Open is done by ESPN Radio and The Masters by Dial Global Sports, but those are the only golf championships on the radio, and NBC has rights in Golf Network giving them rights to cover every golf event). Give people a reason to turn away from the shows they are familiar with and have a new home to fall in love with.
NBC Sports Radio Network will be broadcast online at NBCSports.com and at dialglobalsports.com with the shows and hourly updates. Play-by-play coverage could also be streamed online if a league contract, like NFL and MLB, doesn't prohibit it. Golf, NCAA Football and Basketball, and the NHL could all find themselves with a new radio home to prosper within.
More info can be found in the Press Release at http://dialglobalsports.com/2012/06/nbc-sports-group-and-dial-global-partner-to-form-the-nbc-sports-radio-network/.