Penguins readying HD2 channel


As mentioned at an HD Radio panel session at NAB Philly, The Sports Business Journal reports Pittsburgh Penguins Radio on 105.9 HD2, which launches Oct. 1, is the first exclusive HD channel launched by an NHL team and one of the first to be launched by a professional sports team. (The Dallas Cowboys plan to launch one with KRLD-FM.) The channel will offer an endless stream of Penguins talk for fans.

The venture is the result of a partnership between the Penguins and their flagship radio station, WXDX-FM. In addition to being available to people with HD radio receivers, the radio station will be streamed live on the team’s home page.

Pittsburgh Penguins Radio will offer six hours of live programming a day when it debuts Thursday.The station will give the team a modest revenue boost and the opportunity to expand its marketing reach.

“We’ve taken an aggressive look at where we can grow our footprint and increase the volume for the franchise,” said David Peart, the Penguins’ vice president of business partnerships. “We think we’re poised to expand dramatically our reach and impact from an audio standpoint.”

The costs of the Penguins’ HD station, including staffing and production, are estimated to be in the low six figures, and the Penguins have already lined up a half-dozen advertisers, including Mountaineer Casino, Geico, California University of Pennsylvania and Qdoba.

The HD channel will offer live programming from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily beginning Thursday. It will then repeat that broadcast during the day and evening.

The six-hour block will begin with a half-hour “Daily Players’ Playlist” featuring favorite songs of Penguins players. A daily show called “Penguins Live” will air from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The program will be followed by a simulcast of XM radio’s “NHL Live” from noon to 2 p.m. and then an hour of Penguins and NHL content from 2-3 p.m.