The National Football League has agreed to extend its deal, making Westwood One the NFL's exclusive network radio distributor. This renews access for Westwood's affiliates and advertisers to the popular sports content through 2014.
The new contract covers radio broadcasts of all NFL regular season and post-season games and related content, including "Monday Night Football," "Sunday Night Football," "Thursday Night Football," NFL playoffs, Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.
In addition, Westwood One delivers specialty programs, including "The NFL Today," "NFL Preview," "NFL Insider," NFL Sunday" and "NFL Fantasy Football Forecast."
The deal also continues regular streaming of Westwood One broadcasts on NFL.com, and digital simulcasts on satellite broadcaster Sirius XM and NFL Mobile on Verizon wireless devices. The NFL content complements Westwood's other sports programming, such as NCAA Football and Basketball, the Masters, the Olympics, "The Robert Wuhl Show" and Westwood One Sports Prep.
In December 2008, rumors had circulated that the NFL was considering switching to Westwood rival ESPN Radio.
NFL games in general -- and the Super Bowl in particular -- generate big boosts for radio listening, especially in metro markets that are home to competing teams, according to custom studies of previous Super Bowls by Arbitron.
After Super Bowl XLI in 2007, Arbitron found 29% of adults surveyed in the Chicago market said they listen to sports talk radio "a lot more" in the week before the Super Bowl, while the comparable figure in Indianapolis was 38%. Some 7% of Chicago adults said they listened to part of the game on the radio, versus 9% in Indianapolis.