ESPN Relaunches Enhanced ESPNRadio.com
Revamped Site Includes New ESPN Radio “Super-Stream” Player; Live Feeds of More Than 50 ESPN Radio Local & National Programs
ALSO: Live Video For The Herd, Mike & Mike In The Morning, Other Shows To Follow; Host Blogs and Listener Interactivity
Today ESPNRadio.com – the most visited online sports radio destination – relaunched with a completely re-designed and enhanced site. The new site is highlighted by a new “ESPN Super-stream Player” that delivers live 24/7 streaming of ESPN Radio’s national programming and all five of ESPN’s owned stations (New York City -AM 1050 WEPN; Chicago - AM 1000 WMVP; Los Angeles - AM 710 KSPN; Dallas - FM 103.3 KESN; and Pittsburgh - AM 1250 WEAE). More sites will be added in the future. At launch, the ESPNRadio.com Super-Stream player will feature 15 national programs as well as 40 local-market ESPN Radio programs, delivering more than 100 hours of programming each day.
The new ESPNRadio.com will feature exclusive, live in-studio video of The Herd with Colin Cowherd at launch, with live video of Mike & Mike in the Morning to follow later this month. The cameras will allow fans, for the first time, to choose between listening or watching the programs live, and mark the first step in bringing exclusive online, in-studio video for all ESPN radio programs in the future. ESPNRadio.com’s week-long live online camera coverage from Super Bowl Week in Miami drew more than 222,000 viewers.
“A re-imagined ESPNRadio.com allows us to usher in the next stage in the evolution of digital audio and online radio programming and production,” said Marc Horine, vice president, new media, ESPN Radio. “In the past two years, we’ve established leadership in digital audio – not just in sports programming – but as an innovator and business leader in the online and offline radio industry as a whole. This relaunch allows us to take the development of ESPN Radio and ESPN’s digital audio initiatives to still another level for our listeners and marketers.”
Examples of ESPNRadio.com’s growth and leadership in the digital audio industry include:
* ESPNRadio.com Networks (the ESPN Radio national feed and five owned stations) draw more than 240,000 monthly online radio listeners according to AndoMedia WebMetrics.
* In the past six months (through February 2007) fans have logged 17.6 million listening hours on ESPNRadio.com. (AndoMedia WebMetrics).
* In the past two years, ESPNRadio.com has nearly doubled its average monthly users (Hitbox Web Analytics) and increased its advertising revenue by 60 percent.
* ESPN produces more than 30 original and edited podcasts that account for more than 4 million downloads each month by more than 1 million unique users on ESPN’s PodCenter and the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com).
Interactivity: Host Blogs, ESPN Conversations, Interactive Polls
The redesigned ESPNRadio.com will include a host of enhanced interactive and social networking features including blogs regularly updated by ESPN Radio hosts. Additionally, fans can engage ESPN Radio personalities and other fans using ESPN Conversations functionality, which allows fans to post their comments, sound off and create content that will be integrated into ESPN Radio programs. The site will also feature enhanced SportsNation polls, including the display of state-by-state results.
The new ESPNRadio.com will feature enhanced advertising and sponsorship opportunities including expanded inventory for video, the ESPN SuperStream player, program-specific pages, host blogs and ESPN Conversation pages.
Advertising revenue across ESPN’s digital audio initiatives has seen more than 25 percent growth in the past year and nearly 60 percent growth since the start of 2005. Much of that growth has been driven by sponsorship and advertising from major marketers including – OnStar by GM, AT&T, AutoZone, Nivea For Men, Lamisil AT, Progressive Auto Insurance and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In a continuing effort to deliver both nationally and locally relevant content to sports fans, the new ESPNRadio.com fully integrates the recently launched a network of local ESPN-affiliate station Web sites and local podcasts. The local sites feature local and national sports news, scores and headlines, city-specific interactive sports schedules and calendars, local weather conditions and more. Local ESPN Radio podcasts include Pittsburgh’s Mark Madden Show, New York’s Michael Kay Show, and Los Angeles’ The Big Show with Mason and Ireland and more. The network initially includes the sites for ESPN’s five owned stations.
In addition, programming from ESPN’s owned stations will include local high school sports coverage.
Since beginning its first podcast in July 2005, ESPN has expanded to include more than 30 original podcasts and launched the ESPN PodCenter downloadable content hub. ESPN podcasts are downloaded more than one million times each week via the PodCenter and Apple’s iTunes Store, and are the most downloaded sports content on iTunes. The daily audio podcast of Pardon The Interruption has been the most downloaded sports podcast on iTunes for eight straight months, and ESPN is the only sports media company providing enhanced podcasts – featuring images and sponsorship synchronized for display with the audio content.
Spanish-Language Digital Audio
ESPNdeportesradio.com also debuted a Spanish-language PodCenter in late 2006, dedicated to providing Spanish-language downloadable digital audio content including programs from ESPN Deportes Radio in the United States, ESPN Radio Fórmula in Mexico and ESPN Radio en Rivadavia from Argentina. The ESPNdeportes.com PodCenter is generating tens of thousands of downloads each week already.
ESPNdeportesradio.com provides a live, 24/7 live online stream of ESPN Deportes Radio.
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