SBD/October 30, 2013/Media

Bears Exploring Possibility Of Launching Own HD Radio Station, Likely In '15

Phillips noted that HD penetration is not yet at a high level
Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips said that the team "will explore the possibility of launching its own station via HD Radio," and that the move "could happen next season, but more likely" in '15, according to Ed Sherman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. In its deal with WBBM-AM and WBBM-FM, the team "has the rights to use 105.9 HD3 as its own exclusive radio outlet." Phillips said, "I can't say we will do it next year, but the brainstorming will begin next year. In my mind, we're probably looking at 2015." Currently, the Penguins, Phillies and Cowboys have HD Radio stations, but more pro franchises "are looking at the option as HD Radio is expected to have greater distribution with manufacturers now making them available in new cars." The technology "also allows access via smart [phone] apps and through the Internet." Sherman notes the Bears' new multimedia facility at Halas Hall "includes fully operational TV and radio studios." The Bears "already produce several shows for television," and an HD station "is a natural next step." Phillips: "The HD penetration still is not that high. It's very labor intensive. We have to make sure it is worth it." iBiquity Senior VP/Broadcast Programs & Advanced Services Joe D'Angelo, whose company develops HD Radio, said that there are "currently 14 million HD Radio units in the marketplace." He added that 33 auto companies "have announced plans to incorporate HD Radios in 170 models by year's end." The White Sox also have "discussed HD Radio, although it appears to be further down the road for them" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/30).
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