With the NCAA Final Four starting this week, it is the perfect time to talk about sports radio.Sports stations make up just over five percent of radio stations in theU.S.Many sports stations falling on the AM-spectrum struggle to get ratings.  According to Arbitron, “even in sports radios key demo (male 25 to 54), few markets break the 50% barrier.”

The first radio broadcast of a sporting event took place on April 11, 1921 when KDKA broadcast a boxing match at Pittsburgh’s Motor Square Garden. Within a few months, sports radio took off. On August 5, 1921, KDKA broadcast the first baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.  Just two months later, KDKA broke another record, making the station the first to broadcast a college football game between theUniversityofPittsburghandWest VirginiaUniversity.

According to Arbitron, the top ten sports radio stations are: WFAN-AM (NY); WEPN-AM (NY); KNBR-AM (San Francisco); WBZ-FM (Boston); WXYT-FM (Detroit); KSPN-AM (LA); KRLD-FM (Dallas); WSCR-AM (Chicago); WLW-AM (Cincinnati); and WMVP-AM(Chicago).When it comes to NCAA sports contracts, Westwood One has the exclusive rights to men’s and women’s basketball Final Fours and the men’s College World Series. In television, CBS has the rights to Men’s basketball. ESPN has the rights to Women’s basketball, baseball, softball, ice hockey, football, and soccer. Turner Sports has the official rights, along with CBS, to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.Sports radio has been a constant part of American history.  From listening to the Super Bowl while driving, to listening to commentary on last night’s big game, sports radio continues to be a part ofAmerica’s rich media history.

For our latest tourney sound bites, visit http://www.broadcastnewsresource.com/Scripts/marchmadness.htm. Stay tuned…

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