ESPN Deportes Radio to Air 24/7 This Fall

WASHINGTON ESPN said during its upfront presentation that it would extend its growing ESPN Deportes cable brand with the launch of the nation’s first around-the-clock Spanish-language sports radio network.

Through a partnership with Hispanic broadcaster Lotus Communications and ABC Radio Networks, ESPN Deportes Radio will launch this September on more than a half-dozen radio stations including KWKW-AM, Lotus’ Hispanic sports station in Los Angeles, which will serve as the network’s flagship.

“The expansion of ESPN Deportes Radio to a full-time, national network is a milestone in Spanish-language radio,” said Traug Keller, svp of ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio.

ESPN Deportes Radio, which previously only offered limited programming, will expand to a full 24/7 schedule of sports talk programming and events, including Spanish-language broadcasts of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, League Championship Series and the World Series. In partnership with Lotus, the network will also cover Mexican Soccer with exclusive broadcasts of all the Chivas home matches beginning with the 2006 season. Rolando “El Veloz” Gonzalez, the official radio voice of the Chivas, will join the roster of ESPN Deportes Radio talent. Talent from the cable channel is also expected to be part of the radio network lineup.

With the launch of the radio network, ESPN will complete its five-pronged distribution platform to reach the Latino sports fan with ESPN Deportes cable, which launched January 2004; the Web site (ESPNDeportes.com); ESPN Deportes La Revista magazine; and ESPN Deportes Wireless, which offers mobile phone subscribers images of Latino athletes.

ESPN Deportes Radio will also contribute inventory to ABC Radio Networks’ Hispanic Advantage Network, the industry’s first Hispanic network, which is slated to launch this fall.

ESPN is based in Bristol, Conn.