A New National Sports Radio Network Arrives

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In April 2012, the pay-TV network Univision Deportes Network bowed as a fútbol-focused offering geared to Hispanics of Mexican heritage.


As 2016 comes to a close, the Univision Deportes brand is being prepped for a little “AM revitalización” by 10 of the South Florida-based media company’s radio stations.

Come Q1 2017, Univision Deportes Radio bowed as a national Spanish-language sports radio network.

Cadena UDR will be initially heard on the following stations:

  • WADO-AM 1280 in New York
  • KTNQ-AM 1020 in Los Angeles
  • WQBA-AM 1140 in Miami
  • KLAT-AM 1010 in Houston
  • WRTO-AM 1200 in Chicago
  • KFLC-AM 1270 in Dallas
  • KCOR-AM 1350 in San Antonio
  • KGBT-AM 1530 in McAllen-Brownsville-Harlingen, Tex.
  • KLSQ-AM 870 in Las Vegas
  • KHOV-FM 105.1 in Wickenburg, Ariz., which reaches the Phoenix market’s West Valley

 

All of these stations except WADO and KHOV previously comprised the Univision América Spanish-language national talk radio network. WADO is presently transitioning from locally focused Spanish-language News/Talk programming, while KHOV is a simulcast partner with “Latino Mix 100.3,” KQMR-FM in Globe, Ariz.

In a statement, Univision said the new network will bring listeners live sports commentary, play-by-play, original content and programming, at a yet-to-be announced start date prior to March 31.

“The launch of Univision Deportes Radio marks yet another milestone in the growth and evolution our brand across all major media platforms,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Univision Deportes. “Our fans enjoy the award-winning soccer coverage Univision Deportes regularly provides throughout the year on broadcast, cable and digital platforms.  We look forward to delivering the same high-quality soccer content on radio but also enhancing listener’s experiences by adding an expanded all-sports approach.”

John Eck, Chief Local Media Officer for Univision Communications, said, “We’re thrilled to expand our collaboration with Univision Deportes to continue to leverage the power of our local media to reach fanáticos like never before.”

 

Of the collection of stations that are shifting to Univision Deportes Radio, all but WADO have seen significant audience erosion in recent years, due to changing demographics and the declining use of AM radio among Latino listeners.

However, the pending changes at WADO are particularly noteworthy. Spanish-language programming has been heard on the station since 1964.

Should WADO and the other stations go todo deportes, todo el tiempo, Univision will compete head-on against ESPN Deportes Radio and Fútbol de Primera Radio (FDP), the FIFA World Cup rightsholder run by famed soccer commentator and Telemundo sports personality Andrés Cantor.


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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.