NBC Sports to Create Radio Network to Rival Disney’s ESPN

Comcast Corp.’s NBC unit and Dial Global Inc. are creating the NBC Sports Radio Network to broadcast national and regional programming, challenging Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN Radio.

The radio network, starting in September, will air hourly sports-news updates, daily features and full-length shows, New York-based NBC and Dial Global said today in a statement.

Under Comcast, NBC has moved to challenge ESPN, the most-watched television sports channel, with NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel. The company has extended rights agreements to continue airing the Olympics and National Hockey League games. NBC Sports Radio Network will provide stations with regional and national coverage, the companies said.

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, lost 1.1 percent to $29.94 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 26 percent this year. Dial, a radio program distributor based in New York, fell 15 percent to $2.56.

The sports-radio accord builds on agreements between NBC and Dial to create a 24-hour NBC News Radio network, the Weather Channel and NBC Olympics. NBC News Radio Network will feature live, breaking-news simulcasts from NBC and MSNBC, reports from NBC News correspondents, and broadcasts by Brian Williams, the anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” and David Gregory, the anchor of “Meet the Press.”

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