Joining an already crowded field, ESPN Radio has announced it will begin carrying Sunday afternoon NFL games starting this fall. Because the NFL allows teams to sell their out-of-market rights to syndicators, ESPN signed five teams, the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.
ESPN Radio joins Compass Media Networks, Dial Global and Sports USA in providing national NFL Sunday afternoon radio broadcasts. ESPN's games will not affect the local broadcasts. If you live in Pittsburgh, you'll still hear the Steelers on WDVE and WBGG. ESPN Radio's broadcast of the Steelers will be blacked out in the local market and the same if the network airs a Patriots game, Boston would be blacked out from hearing the broadcast.
In addition, ESPN Radio's broadcasts will not be streamed. The only way to listen will be through your radio set.
This is a big deal for ESPN Radio. It has normally filled Sunday afternoons with its NFL on ESPN Radio whiparound program featuring reports from each game. Now it will have live games to air nationally. And you know that the network won't stop with the rights to just five teams. Rest assured that it will look to add more teams for its Sunday afternoon roster, and ESPN will likely look at the 63 primetime and postseason game contract which Dial Global possesses through the 2017 season when it comes for bid.
ESPN says it will use current analysts Herman Edwards, Bill Polian and Damien Woody on the radio broadcasts. Play-by-play announcers will be announced at a later date, but with a stable that includes former Carolina Panthers and NFL on Westwood One voice Bill Rosinski, it won't have a shortage of candidates.
The fall is going to be quite busy on ESPN Radio as it will air plenty of live college football, MLB and NFL games.