Michael Schreck, Dial Global’s Director of Sports Sales, spoke with RBR-TVBR to provide some insights on the coverage and affiliate numbers NCAA March Madness–The Superbowl of College Sports. The three weeks of madness starts with Selection Sunday (3/11) at 6PM ET. The first game will be Tuesday 3/13 at 7:30 PM. The national championship game will be Monday, 4/2 at 9PM ET.
Schreck says they will be airing the games on over 500 terrestrial radio stations—a record for previous Westwood One clearances and now Dial Global. The broadcasts and broadcast-quality audio streams are going to be on SiriusXM Satellite Radio; March Madness on Demand, which is called “March Madness Live” (an NCAA-owned website); The AT&T NCAA mobile application and Slacker Mobile: “We’re also going to be streamed on DialGlobalSports.com. So, our exclusive audio rights with the NCAA are really running on multiple avenues this year.”
DG advertisers include some of the NCAA corporate partners and corporate champions. And as far as categories that will be strong in the games, “I can tell you that Retail, Auto Aftermarket, Auto and Tool companies are pretty aggressive this year with the NCAA tournament.”
Large market affiliates include 1050 ESPN Radio in NYC; WMVP-AM in Chicago; KLAC in LA; along with the top sports stations in all of the other markets.
An item of note that may boost DG’s listening—both online and on-air: For the first time ever, Turner and CBS own the TV rights. They’ve decided to put the online video of the broadcasts behind a paid wall online. The audio streaming will be free. Says Schreck: “We don’t have any numbers, but we’re excited about that because as you know, for Round 2 on Thursday and Friday people are at work; the games are running simultaneously starting at Noon. The average fan may not be willing to pay to watch it and they are going to want to listen to the audio while they do other things. So we’re hoping to see some spike in audience there.”