Sox To Become First MLB Franchise With HD Radio Channel

HD radio is a niche market -- you probably don't have an HD radio yet, although you may have heard radio stations give station ID's with both their regular call letters and then the same set followed by "HD1" or "HD2".

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Nevertheless, as reported by Ed Sherman of Crain's Chicago Business, the White Sox are jumping into this market, becoming the first MLB team to do so, as part of their new radio deal:

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The Sox's new five-year renewal with WSCR-AM 670 includes a chance for them to launch a HD station on CBS Radio-owned, 104.3.3 FM. HD is radio's version of digital TV cable, expanding the band to provide more channels.↵

↵The Sox are a pioneer in what is considered the future of sports radio with niche team channels. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only other franchise programming their own HD channel.↵

↵The attractive part for the Sox is that launching the station involves a minimal investment. They don't have to buy a radio signal and they will use WSCR's studios and their outlets at the ballpark. Basically, their costs are for producers and on-air talent. All told, probably in the mid-six figures.↵

↵"It's a low-risk proposition for us," said Brooks Boyer, the chief marketing officer for the Sox. "This is a great way for us to give another outlet for our sponsors and for us to connect with our fans. If Mark Buerhle pitches another perfect game, we can have him on for an hour taking calls from the fans."
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Sherman says portable HD radios can be had for as little as $49, but it could cost you as much as $350 to put one in your car. Pricey, but if you want to hear as much Sox radio content as possible, you might want to invest in one.

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