ESPN makes the unprecedented move to launch a 24-hour Spanish sports/talk station in New York. ESPN Deportes officially takes the 1050 AM spot on the dial this afternoon. The position was previously held by ESPN’s WEPN, which made a huge step to improve its strength in ratings and its signal when it jumped to FM at 98.7.
ESPN Deportes kicks off with a special introduction by ESPN Radio morning co-host Mike Greenberg, followed by a welcoming show hosted by the ESPN Deportes personalities. Then at 4 p.m., fans get the their fill of live soccer as ESPN Deportes provides exclusive coverage of three consecutive World Cup Qualifiers — Colombia vs. Uruguay, followed by Argentina vs. Paraguay, and Salvador vs. Guyana.
The launch coincides with a three-year agreement to broadcast Jets games. Clemson Smith Muniz, known to many New Yorkers, is the lead announcer.
“We are thrilled to add the New York Jets to our solid roster of play-by-play offerings just in time for our launch,” said Dave Roberts, general manager of ESPN Radio New York 98.7 and ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050AM. “There is tremendous passion for the NFL among the Hispanic community of New York, and this alliance with an elite franchise will further position 1050AM as the Spanish-language audio destination for the Hispanic sports fan in New York.”
As we reported yesterday, WEPN saw slight gains in the overall Arbitron ratings for August at a 1.4. By contrast, WEPN slipped to a 1.1 in the ratings book before the April move.
Ahead of its 2 p.m. start-up, ESPN Deportes aired a loop in English and Spanish informing 98.7 listeners and touting the new format.