Riggins's Sports-Talk Radio Program To Be Simulcast by MASN in February

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Red Zebra Broadcasting, home to the Washington Redskins Radio Network, and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network announced a multiyear deal yesterday to simulcast former Redskins running back John Riggins's daily sports radio show starting in February, according to officials from both networks.

The deal is expected to include several other elements that will give MASN exclusive access to the Redskins Radio Network, the officials said. It is the latest salvo in the rivalry between MASN and Comcast SportsNet over the sports television market in the region.

"This is a blockbuster announcement between the leading sports radio and sports television networks in the mid-Atlantic region," MASN spokesman Todd Webster said. Red Zebra chief executive officer Bennett Zier said the Redskins radio arm was "very excited" about the MASN deal.

MASN, owned by the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, has been signing partnerships with area colleges and is carrying 150 local and national men's basketball games, including Georgetown, George Mason and a Big East game of the week. Next season, MASN will be the official home of the Nationals as well as the Orioles. MASN will have 4.5 million subscribers by Opening Day 2007.

Comcast SportsNet, which carries the Wizards and Capitals, reaches more than 4.7 million subscribers in the region. The network already has a partnership with the Redskins, which includes televising three preseason games, live reports from Redskins training camp, postgame shows during the regular season and analysis by Redskins coaches.

Red Zebra Broadcasting, a company that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder formed early this year, has been buying radio stations in the mid-Atlantic region as outlets for sports programming and live broadcasts of Redskins games. His three flagship stations in the Washington area are WWXX (92.7 FM), WWXT (94.3 FM) and WXTR (730 AM). Snyder also is negotiating to purchase WGMS, which broadcasts at 103.9 and 104.1 FM, to strengthen Red Zebra's coverage across the area.

-- Thomas Heath

© 2006 The Washington Post Company