SBJ/September 3-9, 2012/Media

NBC Sports Radio prepares to hit the airwaves

NBC Sports Radio launches Tuesday with three overnight shows. But the executive overseeing the new outfit has much grander designs for the fledgling radio network.

Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president of NBC Sports Ventures, expects to grow from three overnight shows to a full 24/7 network at some point next year. And he expects to simulcast planned afternoon shows on NBC Sports Network.

“The goal is to have a 24/7 destination for people that is right up there on the list of places where people tune in when they’re looking for audio content,” Simmelkjaer said. “When we start to simulcast on television, which we certainly will do, we want it to be right up there with the places that people consider when they are looking for information, when they are looking for opinion, when they are looking for debate.”

So far, 175 stations have agreed to carry some part of NBC Sports Radio. NBC Sports’ partner, Dial Global, is handling affiliate deals and signing up stations.

The first show to launch will be from Eric Kuselias, who hosts NBC Sports Network’s “SportsTalk” show. He will handle the 7-10 p.m. ET shift and plans to host the last segment of TV’s “SportsTalk” from the radio studio.

“We’ll be able to really do a nice job of cross pollinating between those two there,” Simmelkjaer said.

Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer will follow with the 10 p.m.-1 a.m. shift. And Dan Schwartzman will host the 1-4 a.m. shift.


NBC Sports Radio officially will launch before the Kuselias show with on-the-hour updates that start at 6 a.m. and run through midnight.

NBC Sports wants to make its radio shows an audio extension of NBC Sports’ brand. For example, Rodney Harrison will host an NFL show every Saturday.

“We want this to have an NBC sound and an NBC feel,” Simmelkjaer said. “When you listen in, you’ll hear Bob Costas’ voice. You’ll hear Al Michaels’ voice. You’ll hear a lot of talent that we’ll have in our universe. As time goes on, we’ll be folding more and more of them in.”
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