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NBC Sports Network. Ready For Launch


Not only is Monday the first day of a full slate of 2013 regular season Major League Baseball games (there's one game Sunday night), it's day one of the new NBC/Dial Global 24-hour sports network. That means the radio field is full. NBC/Dial joins the CBS Sports Network which launched on January 1st, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports and Yahoo/Gow all offering radio stations a chance to be part of a very popular format, which targets a very lucrative and rabid demo. We spoke to Dial Global Executive Vice President/General Manager Chris Corcoran about the preparation for Monday's NBC/Dial Global launch.

RI: What's everyone going through now that you are so close to the official network launch?
We are pumped up and ready!  This has been a huge work in progress, with great effort and teamwork through multiple phases.  Were finally here and ready to share our creation with sports fans everywhere.

RI: How ready is the team you'll put on the air Monday?
Ive played sports all my life; if youre not prepared, youre toast. That goes for everything in life if you want to be successful. Everyone on this team has been and will continue to be prepared each and every day. To use a sports analogy, practice makes perfect, and we wouldnt put anything on the air if we didnt feel it was ready to be heard.  Everyone from talent to programming, and from operations to affiliate and ad sales, has given their all every day to make sure we deliver to our stations, our listeners and our advertisers.

RI: What was the biggest challenge putting this network together?
Patience!  The biggest challenge is always making sure that we take the time to get it right, throughout the entire process, and that nothing is forced or rushed. We dont react to what others do or say; were thinking through and listening to everything very carefully. Nothing is a throw-away decision.  Everything is carefully weighed so that we are confident in our choices and we stay focused on our mission. 

RI: What can listeners expect when they tune in to the network on Monday? 
Even though its an overused phrase, its entirely accurate; content is king. We want listeners to not only enjoy each show on NBCSR, but to learn something every day, to hear unique perspectives and to feel like they are listening to fresh, intelligent sports talk radio.  Everyone covers the main headlines, like the Tiger Woods comeback, the Heat's winning streak, and so on. But, how can we go in-depth and offer a different perspective, or a  different angle, without sounding like everyone else?  If a team GM gets fired, for example, we dont want our hosts to just complain about it, but to find the story behind the story, to track and follow the story and to offer more insight.  Thats what were aiming for and thats our goal.  Great content delivers loyal listenership and stand-out sports radio.  In addition, were excited to announce that well be launching an NBC Sports Radio App thats being created for Apple and Android devices and available to consumers next week.  We are also redesigning our website, which will be ready on April 1.  NBC Sports Radio will be accessible across multiple platforms, between the app, the revamped website, a big station lineup and station streamsall coming together on launch week.  We are honing a strategic on demand platform and we are heating up our social media presence.   Its a fully-integrated 360 approach.  We look forward to growing all aspects of NBC Sports Radio and giving sports fans a great listening and interactive experience, wherever they are. 

RI: Why do you think listeners are going to choose the NBC sports network over any other product? What will make you unique?
Sports listeners are extremely loyal. There is no doubt that there are a lot of choices out there.  Even if we were the only national sports radio network, our goal would be the same--to deliver great content and to keep listeners tuned in and talking.  You dont achieve success overnight, but we are ready to compete and attract a wide demo.  That being said, we have an incredible, recognizable brand and partner in NBC Sports.  We care greatly about serving our affiliates and advertisers.   We have a dynamic mix of elite national sports radio talent and contributors, like Erik Kuselias, Brian Kenny, Stan Van Gundy, Bobby Valentine, Chipper Jones and others, along with the next generation of top national sports radio talent, like Eytan Shander, Chris Mannix, and Newy Scruggs.  We also deliver former star players like Donovan McNabb, Rodney Harrison and Amani Toomer, all of whom have naturally transitioned from player to broadcaster.  They are going to raise the bar for former athletes in radio.

RI: What has been the response so far from the advertising community?
We had a launch party reception in our NYC office this past week, attended by all of our talent and advertisers; there was a lot of excitement and buzz in the room!  We are happy to offer the ad community a new home for brand extension.

RI: Are you worried at all that you are last into the pool or has it helped that you've been able to see what you are up against?
If we were worried, we wouldnt be doing this. Were proud of what weve built, nothing was rushed to get on the air, and weve been patient with each phase throughout the process.  Come Monday, well be ready to suit up, take the field and play the game!  

To learn how to make money from this exciting format join Radio Ink in Miami on May 14 and 15 at The Biltmore Hotel for our 2013 Sports Radio Conference

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