Joining an already crowded field, ESPN Radio has announced it will begin carrying Sunday afternoon NFL games starting this fall. Because the NFL allows teams to sell their out-of-market rights to syndicators, ESPN signed five teams, the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.
ESPN Radio joins Compass Media Networks, Dial Global and Sports USA in providing national NFL Sunday afternoon radio broadcasts. ESPN's games will not affect the local broadcasts. If you live in Pittsburgh, you'll still hear the Steelers on WDVE and WBGG. ESPN Radio's broadcast of the Steelers will be blacked out in the local market and the same if the network airs a Patriots game, Boston would be blacked out from hearing the broadcast.
In addition, ESPN Radio's broadcasts will not be streamed. The only way to listen will be through your radio set.
This is a big deal for ESPN Radio. It has normally filled Sunday afternoons with its NFL on ESPN Radio whiparound program featuring reports from each game. Now it will have live games to air nationally. And you know that the network won't stop with the rights to just five teams. Rest assured that it will look to add more teams for its Sunday afternoon roster, and ESPN will likely look at the 63 primetime and postseason game contract which Dial Global possesses through the 2017 season when it comes for bid.
ESPN says it will use current analysts Herman Edwards, Bill Polian and Damien Woody on the radio broadcasts. Play-by-play announcers will be announced at a later date, but with a stable that includes former Carolina Panthers and NFL on Westwood One voice Bill Rosinski, it won't have a shortage of candidates.
The fall is going to be quite busy on ESPN Radio as it will air plenty of live college football, MLB and NFL games.
I've lived most of my life in Allentown PA; Steelers have been on the FSR affiliate while Giants were on the ESPN station, but supposedly with the teams' networks in both cases... this is likely over.
I actually prefer a scoreboard/whip around show that covers all the games being played than being stuck listening to a game that I have no interest in.
It should be noted that most of the teams ESPN Radio got the rights to switched to them from Sports USA, unless teams can negotiate with multiple groups, which they might be able to. The Giants, Jets, and Patriots had all been with Sports USA previously, and they might still be if you can do multiple ones (Sports USA has down a Giants/ Broncos game as a possible broadcast, but that might have been dependent on the Giants not signing up with ESPN Radio).
I know these companies have broadcast rights for the following teams.
Compass Media has the rights to: Oakland Raiders (owns local rights and can stream the games online outside of NFL Audio Subscription), Dallas Cowboys (America's Team Radio Network) , Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks.
Sports USA has the rights to: Cincinnati Bengals, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, and Carolina Panthers.
Dial Global has: Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings
@DanielOrmsby Daniel does this mean that the Chicago Bears can be on both Compass Media and Sportsline USA???
I know that Compass Media has had the rights to air all of the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys games since 2011 too!!!
@CUbsfan Oakland has been with Compass since 2010, a year before Dallas joined in 2011. Also it's Sports USA, not Sportline USA. I point that out to avoid confusion since there is also Sports Byline USA, and many of their affiliates get contracts w/ Touchdown Radio or Compass.
The Bears don't have a contract with Compass Media, so Compass can't air Bears games unless the opponent they are playing has a contract w/ Compass. That is the case this upcoming season when Compass is airing the Sept. 29 Chicago at Detroit game. Sports USA could have picked up the rights to this game, and both networks could broadcast it, though Sports USA is broadcasting Cincinnati at Cleveland that day.
Last year Compass and Sports USA broadcast the same game at least twice, but it is a rarity as the networks usually try to feature as many games as possible on any given Sunday. I know one of last years simulcasts involved the Patriots, but as far as I'm aware you can only have a contract w/ one group to distribute your games to out-of-market.
As far as I know the only group that can get around this rule is Dial Global since their contract happens to be with the NFL as a whole, though they do have 2 teams that they have exclusive contracts with.