Re: CBS moving into sports radio

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Jun 25, 2012, 8:29:33 PM6/25/12
On Jun 21, 6:14 pm, TMC <> wrote:
> On Jun 21, 11:43 am, David <> wrote:
> >
> > CBS to make aggressive move in sports radio
> > New entity to reach top 50 markets in country
> > Following NBC's similar announcement 10 days ago, CBS is the next
> > major media company making an aggressive move into the sports radio
> > business.
> > Titled CBS Sports Radio, new 24/7 enterprise will bring content to the
> > top 50 markets in the country on both Cumulus Media Networks and CBS
> > radio stations. In debuting CBS Sports Radio, some stations will have
> > new content being added to their lineups while others stations will be
> > transformed into all-sports radio formats.
> > Stations in such major cities as New York (WFAN-AM) and Chicago
> > (WSCR-AM) have already been lined up to take on CBS content. A Los
> > Angeles station has not yet been determined.
> > Set to launch on Jan. 2, 2013, talkshows will use talent from the
> > net's sports division. Cumulus will also serve as a syndicator and
> > sales partner.
> Lance Venta at Radio Insight reports that with CBS Radio starting a
> new sports network, ESPN Radio will lose two affiliates in Florida:
> Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record talks about
> the launch of CBS Sports Radio:
> CBS & Cumulus to launch sports radio network. 610 will carry:
> CONSOLIDATION, Consolidation, and consolidation.
> It's the KEYWORD for the kings of the consolidators in Atlanta; part
> of the synergy and very much a key to the end game for the Dickey
> boys.
> Here's the latest, a good cause for concern for the 55 Hawthorne
> Knibber folks. Might portend for the future plans and provide the
> basis for a wholesale content re-distribution and then some.
> The story: CBS and Cumulus will join forces to partner a new sports
> radio network. Did you hear about the word, "consolidation?" Excuse me
> while I pause for the big boom I just heard coming out of the
> Hawthorne center.
> Here's a key part of the post in case you didn't see it:
> Among the CUMULUS stations adding CBS SPORTS RADIO programming will be
> (680 THE FAN)/ATLANTA, WGFX (104.5 THE ZONE)/NASHVILLE, and several
> more.
> Psst, "consolidation."
> I've been saying all along that the Dickey bros are not radio people.
> They regard broadcasting entity as a part of the bigger jigsaw puzzle.
> In other words, to answer a question I get frequently, what in the
> hell are they doing? They simply are trimming up the meat. You know,
> lean and mean--the more lean, the better when they decide to flip and
> make a tidy profit. This latest move is part of the overall end game.
> They will, ahem, be able to shelve more bodies out the door. They'll
> add content, (thanks CBS) and need less local personnel. A Red Eye
> here, a Bloomberg News there, some sports here, (CBS Radio), are you
> seeing a trend?
> First things first: Expect a few more chop-a-thons at KNBR. Who, how
> many, no one knows right now. Nobody knows for sure. And don't expect
> KCBS to be fretting because they don't carry any national sports
> content. They did a long time ago, but not anymore. CBS' other O and
> O's that do? That's another story. It's a strange combo nonetheless:
> CBS and Cumulus. And more ominous news down the road for the 55
> Hawthorne sports girls and boys.

Slowly, ESPN is facing more competition in the television world.
We've seen College Sports TV rebrand itself as first CBS College
Sports and then CBS Sports Network. We've seen Outdoor Life Network
rebrand itself as first Versus and then NBC Sports Network. Now,
those two companies are building a national sports platform to compete
with ESPN in another medium - radio. In the last two weeks, NBC and
CBS have both announced a national partnership to build their own
sports radio networks. This comes on the heels of Sporting News Radio
being transformed into Yahoo! Sports Radio as well.

As of the moment, there are no talent announced for either network,
but it appears both NBC and CBS have syndication commitments to get
these networks off the ground. NBC Sports Radio's agreement is with
Dial Global radio, who you may recognize from their work with the NCAA
Tournament and Westwood One. The startup will begin in September with
full length shows, news updates, and more. Interestingly, according
to Bloomberg, the NBC radio network will feature both national and
regional coverage.

CBS' syndication partnership is through Cumulus Media, which will make
the network available on 67 of its 570 affiliates around the country
to begin with according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However,
the announced plan has CBS Sports Radio on in 9 of the top 10 markets
around the country when it launches on January 2nd, 2013. CBS Sports
Radio will be a 24/7 all sports network.

The fact that NBC and CBS would enter the national sports radio field
at the same time they attempt to build television networks to rival
ESPN is intriguing to say the least.

On the television side, both networks lag well, well behind ESPN. NBC
has been the much more ambitious of the two and their highs and lows
getting off the ground as a network has been well documented. CBS
Sports Network is little more than a speck of dust in the Bristol air
at the moment, just read this story from Clay Travis about Jim Rome's
audience being cut by 90% since moving from ESPN. However, any
network that airs A-10 women's basketball replays as legitimate
daytime programming IN JUNE knows it can't be taken seriously on the
national stage.

The challenge for both of these companies in building a competitor to
ESPN Radio is equally as tough as building a television competitor.
ESPN Radio is the dominant national brand. You think it's been tough
for fans to find NBC/CBS Sports Network on their television guides?
What about searching for random radio affiliates from scratch? In my
local market, I'm struggling to think of a station that would even
consider airing NBC or CBS Sports content. There's two sports
stations within range - both are ESPN affiliates.

It's going to be extremely difficult for NBC and CBS to cut into the
market share in this area. The key will be acquiring talent that
already has a national radio brand. Can CBS sync with Jim Rome on his
radio show? Can NBC do the same with Dan Patrick? Could there even
be something for a high-profile acquisition like Michelle Beadle on
radio? In launching in September and January respectively, there's
not too much time to get a coherent national strategy figured out.
However it turns out, both CBS and NBC are making no bones about it -
they're pushing every chip they have to the middle of the table to
compete with ESPN. Hopefully with the increased competition, it leads
to better sports products for fans across the country, although the
potential level of success for these initiatives is a big question
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