As we called it, Genesis Communications, after splitting with ESPN Radio, announced its Sports Talkers in Tampa, WHBO-AM, and Orlando WHOO-AM, have partnered with NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Dial Global as of 10/1.
We reported back in June that Genesis was ending their licensing agreement with ESPN Radio after ten years.
Part of the reason was Bruce Maduri, president of Genesis, told us was that ESPN Radio makes its once-exclusive programming readily available to the public on multiple audio and video channels and platforms such as web radio, satellite radio, mobile devices, broadcast television, cable television and more. At the same time, ESPN Radio has driven up its syndication costs and inventory required by its affiliates under the umbrella of non-exclusive content. Also, under the negotiations, Maduri said ESPN Radio wanted everything but the kitchen sink.
Maduri tells us today: “The fresh new sound of NBC Sports is a welcome programming element to Genesis Communications audio and video development. The partnership with NBC and Dial Global will be a benefit to our analog and digital platforms. The flexibility to integrate exclusive local and national sports programming to our strength as an affiliate, will bring a larger audience. The net result is greater results for advertisers.”
Genesis’ WAMT ESPN Deportes AM 1190 in Orlando-Melbourne dropped the format last December.
NBC Sports Radio will include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as new full-length shows.
Genesis also announced that it is adding NBC Sports’ NFL Sunday Night Football in America host, Dan Patrick, in both markets to air Monday-Friday from 9am-noon. Dan is returning to both stations where he launched his original radio show with ESPN Radio in early 2000.
“We are thrilled to partner with Dial Global and join the NBC Sports family,” said Len Weiner, Vice President of Programming for Genesis Communications. “Our listeners and advertisers will thoroughly enjoy outstanding new programming, strong sports updates and more exclusive listening opportunities.”
Genesis is also announcing the addition of an I-4 corridor morning program with local, regional, and statewide content hosted by David Baumann. It will feature heavy informational content from the sports world including experts from NBC, Sports Talk Florida Insiders, team representatives and media commentators.
Meanwhile, Clear Channel’s WDAE-AM switched its overnight programming to ESPN Radio from FOX Sports Radio 10/1. More dayparts may come.
RBR-TVBR observation: It appears ESPN Radio’s demands on affiliates may be driving them away. Whether or not WDAE-AM will go full-time ESPN remains to be seen, but the fact that there is now no full-time ESPN affiliate in Tampa or Orlando is very telling—these are big markets. CBS Radio’s “The Fan” is also now in Tampa on WHFS-AM/FM, as of 8/2. The FM side will become an affiliate of the CBS Sports Radio Network in early January when it launches.