Live Sports Radio Snags College Football Deals

'Closed circuit' venue-oriented system aims to overcome common gripes about radio at sports events
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Maybe you saw that writeup in the Wall Street Journal recently about Live Sports Radio, which makes receivers that fans wear in one ear while watching sports events. They look something like Bluetooth devices and made their first appearance at the 2006 U.S. Open tennis tournament.

Now the company has a deal to expand to 25 big football schools.

Unique selling points of this modified "closed circuit" system are improved reception and no time delay as in over-the-air broadcasts. Another is that fans hear play-by-play from their home-station announcers even on the road. The radios typically cost $20; many are sold immediately on site at the venue. Live Sports Radio salespeople sell them at home-game Saturdays; the company is also working with charities to be the sellers.

"With up to 16 frequencies available to be pre-programmed as a channel dedicated to a particular broadcast, the clarity of the signal is unparalleled, as fans essentially are enjoying a closed-circuit broadcast that has been created just to enrich their in-stadium experience." At other times the Live Sports Radio device operates as a regular FM radio. (Plans include options to add AM and text information.)

The product at one time was called Earadio. TMW Enterprises purchased the North American company from a European firm and renamed it Live Sports Radio.

"Working with university athletic departments, broadcast-rights holders and game announcers, Live Sports Radio now will be available at clusters of major college-football schools in marquee conferences including the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern," the company stated. It said it was invited onto campuses after test programs at Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Penn State.

The firm noted that its radios were visible in the gallery at the PGA Championship men's golf tournament in Chaska, Minn. It said 35,000 fans there listened to a live national audio feed of XM Radio. It also has a deal with American Express to provide listeners with traffic info, weather forecasts and other content on-site.

Live Sports Radio is hoping to break in with Major League Baseball and NASCAR as well.

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