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Football Broadcast Scrum
As anyone even remotely aware of sports knows, it’s football season. Not preseason but the actual season. For the pros it started yesterday evening, officially, with the Ravens in Denver to play the Broncos. College football started last week.
This past week the Radio World inbox has been filled with press releases touting sports radio’s coverage of the sport — not just on game day but practically every day. It would seem that there are few places in America where one cannot receive some kind of football programing.
WestwoodOne, formerly Dial Global, has 51 prime time (Monday, Thursday or Sunday night) regular season games available including last night’s game. It has 34 Sunday afternoon games and a Thanksgiving Day doubleheader.
It also has all of the playoff games and the Super Bowl along with supporting preview, wrap-up and analysis programs. WestwoodOne says it has been broadcasting NFL games for four decades.
A bit newer and with a larger menu is satcaster SiriusXM. It boasts that it has “every NFL game.” Naturally there will be supporting news, pregame, wrap and analysis shows. In addition there is a dedicated channel, SiriusXM NFL Radio, filled with pro football talk shows 24/7/365. Populating that channel is a plethora of ex-players, ex-executives and supposed experts. And John Madden is on SiriusXM.
Of course all that football goodness does require a SiriusXM subscription but between the satellite coverage and its app, there aren’t many corners on the planet that football would be unavailable.
ESPN Radio, thinking of itself as the champion of sports radio, or at least the granddaddy of sports radio, will be airing play-by-play of select out-of-market games. In addition to the live coverage will be news, preview, wrap and analysis shows staffed with ex-players, ex-coaches, assorted journalists and the large number of sports talk show hosts that ESPN Radio has nationally and at its local affiliates. Of course those local affiliates will be airing sports talk programing through the week, as will the national shows.
ESPN also has a large number of football program podcasts it makes available including some on fantasy football.
One of the recent entrants to the sports radio huddle is CBS Sports Radio. Of course it wouldn’t be caught dead without some kind of football programming, even if it doesn’t have live games to broadcast. CBS will air a pair of roundup “Eye on …” programs, running noon–8 p.m. — Saturday, “Eye on College Football” and Sunday, “Eye on Football.” It will port WFAN’s “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” on Sunday mornings as a pregame program. There’s also an “Eye on Fantasy Football” show airing later in the weekend evenings.
On a more local level, Entercom’s WEEI(FM), Boston, will be eating and drinking Patriots during “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday.” It’s a mystery why Sunday isn’t called “Patriots Sunday,” with local WEEI shows before the game and a postgame afterwards and call-ins after that. Plenty of former Patriots onboard as the shows air from a local bar and grill. Odds are, really, that every day is Patriots Day at WEEI Boston — unless the Red Sox complete their pennant run.
Another Boston Entercom station, rocker WAAF(FM), touts its morning show interviews with Patriot players.
Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA(FM) has announced that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will make regular weekly appearances on its “Vinnie & Cook Show.” It also notes that it does Pitt Panthers college football play-by-play.
And finally, ESPN Radio has announced the addition of a second Buffalo, N.Y., affiliate, WWKB(AM). It joins WGR(AM) in Buffalo’s winter wonderland for more Bills (and Sabres) coverage.
Fox Sports Radio didn’t want to feel left out and has issued its football coverage schedule. It plans a weekend mix of pro and college football news and analysis talk shows and recaps with former players and journalists along with a Sunday pregame along with a simulcast of the Fox TV pregame show.