Radio Ink recently released a report detailing the state of Sports Talk radio for the major networks and where each group believes is in store for 2014. The overwhelming consensus? Digital and Mobile growth.
In the report, top executives from ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and Yahoo Sports Radio were interviewed. Fox Sports Radio, for the record, declined to be interviewed.
To really see the impact of digital/mobile for these groups you can turn to the Worldwide Leader ESPN. Traug Keller, SVP/Production, Business Divisions at ESPN, says that his group is seeing consistently north of a 40 percent bounce to their ESPN radio terrestrial numbers thanks to their digital products.
The competition will be stiff in 2014 and the content offered on-air will be essential to these groups continuing to keep market share. But what will be just as important is being everywhere the listener is, and that includes the mobile app. Chris Corcoran, EVP/GM, Sports Programming at WestwoodOne, best sums it up: “We think it’s (mobile app) a critical piece of our business strategy. As time goes by, it’s going to become a major part of what we’re trying to do, and kind of a business on its own”. He goes on to say, “We’re trying to work with NBC to make sure there’s promotion and awareness from the network. I think a big part of that will be on the app.”