You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC Sports to launch radio network

Rollout to begin in September to coincide with football

Aiming to expand its sports brand beyond TV, NBC is returning to its roots in radio.

Peacock has created the NBC Sports Radio Network, to launch in September. NBC will team with content syndicator Dial Global.

Rival ESPN has long had a successful national radio franchise, with affiliates all over the country, and NBC sees reaching listeners in their cars — as well as on streaming services on various websites and other digital platforms — as a vital component of conglom growth.

Sports have been a savior for NBC, which has struggled in primetime: If not for the highly successful “Sunday Night Football” franchise that airs during the NFL season, the net would be in even greater trouble.

Peacock is looking for big returns from the London Olympics, which begin next month.

The September radio start would coincide with the beginning of the pro and college football seasons, and NBC is hoping to use pigskin passion to help build a radio fanbase.

NBC Sports Radio Network is planning on a slow rollout come September. It will initially air from 7-10 p.m., eventually adding 10 p.m.-1 a.m. There was no word if the radio network would ever become a 24/7 entity.

Content will include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as full-length shows. As of now, no games or live events are set to air on radio, but that may change.

Talent for sports talk programs and other shows will come from local radio affiliates and from NBC Sports’ TV roster.

With the deal finalized only a week ago, no affiliates have come aboard yet.

“We are thrilled to bring the rich heritage of NBC Sports to listeners across national radio for the first time,” said NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus. “By adding radio to our broadcast, cable, regional and digital assets, the NBC Sports Radio Network will give sports fans a new way to interact with the NBC Sports Group day in and day out.”

Dial Global provides content to 8,500 radio stations with 200 sports and entertainment programs. Among the high-profile events in its portfolio are the Olympics and NCAA basketball tournament.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "119 (Grand Finale)"

    Ryan Seacrest to Return for 'American Idol' Season 3 on ABC

    Ryan Seacrest will return as the host of “American Idol” for the music competition’s third season on ABC. Seacrest will also continue hosting and executive producing “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his nationally syndicated L.A. morning drive-time radio show. He also serves as co-host and executive producer on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” as [...]

  • Julian Fellowes

    'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes on His Early Start as an Actor

    Julian Fellowes was all wrong for his time — at first. When he graduated from drama school in 1973, working-class dramas onstage were all the rage, and the aspiring actor struggled to get an agent. He eventually snagged a supporting role in “A Touch of Spring,” a West End comedy that required him to fall down a [...]

  • Mr Robot Final Season

    'Mr. Robot' Team Talks Sending the Hacker Drama Off in Style

    Creating shows in this golden age of television has pushed storytelling to new heights, bolstered network recognition with the debut of sole marquee series and driven top-tier talent to limited-event runs. But few of these hundreds of series to unroll over the past half-decade have also redefined an entire network while pumping out prolific content [...]

  • Emmy Contenders 2019

    Emmys 2019: Critical Last Looks on 'Game of Thrones,' 'Fleabag,' More Contenders

    With only days to go before the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, the final voting have long since been cast and counted. But hopes still abound for favorite series and performers. Here, Variety’s television critics look at the leading races, who’s going into the final stretch with some real heat and what they hope will [...]

  • Set di "Gomorra 4", regia di

    Italian Commissions Offer Big Incentives for TV Productions

    Italian TV is traveling around the world as never before, and giving audiences a deep dive into the country’s locations. They range from storied cities such as Rome, Venice, Naples and Milan to classic countryside backdrops, including Tuscany and Umbria. There is also the southern sensuality found in Apulia and Sicily, and, of course, the [...]


    TV Ratings: NBC's 'Downton Abbey' Special Less Than Grand

    NBC aired its “Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event” special Thursday night to mark the release of the new “Downton Abbey” movie. However, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and co. would probably turn up their noses at the 0.4 rating and 2.8 million viewers the special achieved last night. It was beaten in the [...]

  • Glow Netflix Emmy Comedy Race

    'GLOW' Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Netflix

    The final bell is ringing for “GLOW.” The Netflix series has been renewed for Season 4, which will also be the show’s last. Series creators, executive producers, and showrunners Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch will return in those roles for the final season, along with executive producers Jenji Kohan, Tara Herrmann, and Mark Burley. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content