Is sports programming a path to success for HD2/HD3 channels?
Some HD Radio advocates have long preached that multicast channels should be used to reach out to specialized, devoted audience sectors with content they can’t obtain elsewhere, rather than minor variations on existing radio formats.
Now the Pittsburgh Penguins plan to launch a multicast channel in September devoted to the Penguins, the NHL and other hockey-related programming.
The Dallas Cowboys just last week said they would launch a multicast channel in concert with CBS Radio’s KRLD(FM), “The Fan.”
“Pittsburgh Penguins Radio” will be a joint effort with Clear Channel’s WXDX(FM), the team’s radio rights holder, and will be heard on 105.9 HD2 and pittsburghpenguins.com, beginning with training camp coverage.
Dave Soltesz, the Penguins’ senior VP of corporate sales, said the team is “always looking for new ways to deliver unique content” and is “excited to be the first team to venture into the world of 24/7 HD Radio.”
“I can imagine that one of the pre-set radio choices for every Penguins fan is going to be Pittsburgh Penguins Radio,” said Gregg Baldinger, director of NHL Radio.
One highlight of the programming menu will be a “high-energy” live, local weekday show, according to Soltesz. The station also will air “NHL Live,” a daily two-hour show that comes from NHL Radio, as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s weekly talk show, “NHL Hour.”
“In addition, we envision our fans being able to hear Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins games, classic Pittsburgh Penguins games and a variety of other hockey-related programming,” Soltesz said.
The Penguins and WXDX announced a new six-year broadcast rights agreement to have regular season and playoff games carried on the station.