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Sports Broadcasting Technology

Slacker Radio Teams with ESPN to Offer Sport-Centered Station

March 23, 2011


Those individuals wanting to immediately check how their bracket predictions are faring during the Big East Conference or to hear about upcoming batting practices can now get automatic updates by listening to the ESPN (News - Alert) channel on Slacker Radio.

Slacker Radio, an interactive Internet radio service that allows listeners to access the service on the Web and mobile apps on smartphones, has forged a new partnership with ESPN so that consumers can get the latest ESPN’s sports-related audio added to their playlists.

Today, the radio company, which is available in the United States and Canada, announced that its customers can listen to ESPN content through a new ESPN sports channel on Slacker, a free radio service. Slacker Radio users will be able to listen to a single ESPN sports channel. The basic ESPN channel will provide scores, commentary, play-by-play and general news and offer the option to include ESPN SportsCenter headlines for hourly updates.

“This is a big step forward for Slacker showing they can potentially become competitive with satellite-based solutions while not having the massive overhead involved with launching and managing equipment in space,” CEO of TMC (News - Alert) Rich Tehrani said. “One downside of Slacker, however, is it doesn't work with wireless home music streaming service Sonos. Perhaps this new content will drive demand for the two companies to work together.”

The two companies are working together to offer several different features to consumers, however. Specifically, those that subscribe to Slacker's monthly Radio Plus service, which offers all of the Slacker Basic Radio features as well as no audio or banner ads, unlimited song skips, complete lyrics and mobile station caching, will be able to access a wider range of ESPN content and create their own customized channel to prioritize the sports news of interest. The Radio Plus service is offered for $3.99 a month.

“It has long been our mission to provide listeners with the ability to experience ESPN Audio content wherever they are and through whichever medium fits best into their busy lifestyle," said Traug Keller, senior vice president of Production Business Divisions for ESPN, in a statement. "This new relationship will add unique value to the Slacker listening experience by showcasing customizable ESPN sports news and award-winning ESPN Radio programming."

The ESPN channel will become available through Slacker Radio soon, according to reports. The radio company has recently cemented a similar deal with ABC for news content.

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee