ESPN Radio, with partners Cumulus, Bonneville, and Red Zebra, announced the launch of an expanded line up, and 24/7 of on-demand options for FM HD multicast sports channels, at the 2008 Radio NAB in Austin.
"FM-HD2&3 multicast is clearly the largest technology innovation in FM radio since the first FM radio station went on the air in 1937," says Mo Davenport, Senior VP, ESPN Radio. "ESPN has a long standing passion for using new technology to reach sports fans wherever they are, and FM HD radio is part of our overall strategy."
Participating stations, including the initial markets of Houston, Seattle and Dallas, can customize their own ESPN branded multicast channel by using a specialized network appliance. Programs offered on this new service will include ESPNEWS, SportsCenter, Best of Mike and Mike in the Morning, The BS Report, Baseball Today, Around the Horn, college football studio programming, Sports Reporters, First Take, and play-by-play including college football, WNBA, Indy Car Racing, U.S. men’s soccer, MLS, and NHRA.
A participating station will be provided a unique internet portal that will allow the scheduling and control of its network appliance. Using the portal’s easy-to-use automation interface, stations can select from a wide array of compelling differentiated sports content. A station will also be able to specify the dates and
times content will air on its FM-HD2&3 multicast channel. This set of content tools is designed as a platform to help stations meet the sports interests of the local communities they serve.
Besides providing conventional audio content, the appliance will also provide stations unique sports datacasting abilities, such as bottom-line data, clock and score information, and other non-audio services specifically designed for HD Radio.