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Comcast To Strengthen Online Presence

By Dave Hughes,

Online Exclusive

Tim Lemke in the Washington Times says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is ramping up its Web operation with a growing focus on exclusive online content and unique reports not appearing on television. The goal of the regional sports network is to make its Web site the “go-to” site for local sports.

CSN re-launched its Web site last year, but at first had relatively modest amounts of unique content, largely relying on reports produced for television. The network's plan now is to supplement content with reporting and commentary exclusive to the Web site, Lemke reported. CSN plans to hire four new content producers to report and produce segments for the Web, making it one of the few news outlets anywhere actively adding to their reporting capabilities.

Also, CSN launched a mobile site in December and offers a flurry of text alerts.


The Washington Post reported the Ravens have become the latest NFL team to forge a partnership with a state lottery, announcing an agreement with the Maryland Lottery. The league's team owners voted last month to allow clubs to enter arrangements permitting the use of their logos on lottery tickets. The New England Patriots and Washington Redskins were among the first teams to announce such deals.


Recently, it was announced Westwood One had moved its NFL primetime pro football radio package in Baltimore from Hearst's WBAL/98 Rock to CBS's new sports talker, 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM. Now, more rumblings have been circulating that the Westwood One deal is actually part of a national package deal airing on a whole batch of CBS's new FM sports talkers -- not only in Baltimore.

Like maybe even DC and Philadelphia, lending more credence to the rumors of CBS flipping its Washington "guy talker" WJFK, 106.7 FM, to sports talk and maybe even moving struggling classic rocker WYSP (94.1 FM) in Philly to sports talk, as well as WIP-FM. Supposedly the "orders" are not coming from local clusters, but from CBS's New York headquarters.

Just this week, CBS-owned WIP announced its plan to relay signals on WYSP's digital HD3 channel. Could this be just the first step in putting the sports talker on WYSP's main signal by fall?


Steve Hennessey is now gone from Baltimore sports talker WNST (1570 AM). He was the lead ad sales guy, a blogger via the station's Web site and had been with WNST since "the beginning." No word on his plans.


Guesting on Redskins owner Dan Snyder's ESPN 980 this week, Tony Kornheiser said he has had little serious interest from local radio stations about re-starting his radio show.

"I'm open for bids," he told WTEM's Kevin Sheehan. "I want to do local radio. ... All I need are a couple of radio stations, three or four, to step up. ... Not enough, yet."

The former Washington Post sports columnist has, in the past, done local radio shows for WTEM and the now-defunct Washington Post Radio/3WT, but has been busy with his ESPN "Monday Night Football" duties, which ended this year. While still doing ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption" in afternoons, Kornheiser said he's free in the mornings.


The TV ratings for Orioles and Nationals games on MASN have increased during the last week of interleague play. Between June 16 and June 23, the Nats are averaging a 1.1 household rating in DC, while the O's are getting a 3.9 household rating in Baltimore. The Nats season-to-date rating had been a 0.6 in DC and the O's had averaged a 3.0 in Charm City. The Nats visit Camden Yards this weekend for the second "Battle Of The Beltways" of the season.

Posted June 26, 2009