Absolute Radio has secured commentary rights for the Barclays Premier League, starting in August after this years FIFA World Cup.
For three years, the national station will broadcast commentary of 32 games at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.
Recently, Absolute Radio [link=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.5566]announced changes[/link] to their management to position themselves as an entertainment brand. This new move further cements their sports offering to go alongside the well-established reputation for live music and comedy.
Its hoped the rights will open up new sponsorship opportunities and fit well with revelations from EMR Entertainment Media Research, which told the station that a quarter of Absolute’s ABC1, 25-44 year old ‘reluctant adult’ audience would appreciate football commentary on the station.
Absolute are also hoping to take advantage of their flair for multi-platform broadcasting, offering listener choice on Saturday afternoon using ‘smart distribution’ to split its frequencies if Ofcom allow it.
It’s hoped they will be able to offer the commentary on AM, while FM does a mixture of goal news and music in ‘Rock n Roll Football’ with Russ Williams. The national DAB platform will also be split to offer the listener a choice and the streams will be available online.
Clive Dickens, Absolute’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Football is an obvious extension of our entertainment offering. We have a solid presenter line-up … an unprecedented support of live music and now this exclusive football offering. It is a compelling mix”.
The Premier League Director of Sales and Marketing, Richard Masters, said “we welcome Absolute Radio as a new radio broadcast partner … We are confident that they will provide an excellent service for our clubs’ fans and help us reach as wide an audience as possible.”