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Autonomous Cars Could Mean More Profit, Less Content

“The presentation outlined how HD Radio can be used to generate profit for stations beyond just putting up a second signal that is a straight ESPN Radio feed or a very niche music format.”

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I just finished listening to Ashruf El Denary speak at the NAB Show. He is with Xperi Corp and has done extensive research and development in HD Radio. His presentation today focused on what HD radio could mean in a future filled with self-driving vehicles.

El Denary’s presentation was not packed, and honestly that was a huge loss for everyone not in the room. So many panels at this conference have been about the opportunities and changes coming as the availability of 5G becomes more prevalent. El Denary’s presentation was all about how HD Radio can take advantage of 5G’s weak spots, namely the lack of infrastructure and security.

The presentation outlined how HD Radio can be used to generate profit for stations beyond just putting up a second signal that is a straight ESPN Radio feed or a very niche music format.

El Denary talked about radio at its roots being a public service. It is where the public goes when it needs local information immediately. He described digital broadcasting as “a pipe capable of sending any type of information.” Because HD Radio broadcasts send signals in but not out, it can be more valuable than 5G technology.

With that description in mind, it is easy to picture local stations partnering with local governments to launch HD signals that power smart cities, manage a power grid, or send up-to-the-second traffic information right to the screens in users’ cars.

Now consider the advantages HD Radio can have in the world of autonomous cars. GPS technology is accurate to within 3 meters. In order for an autonomous car to be street legal, it’s GPS has to be accurate to within 10 centimeters. HD Radio can relay that information faster and more reliably than 5G technology can.

El Denary saw radio’s live and local nature as something that could create ad revenue in this realm as well. Car companies could buy ad campaigns using HD Radio broadcasts to ensure their autonomous vehicles stay on the road. They could use those broadcasts for direct-to-customer ad campaigns.

I asked El Denary if he saw this as a future application of HD Radio or THE future of HD Radio. He said that it could obviously be either, and profitability would probably dictate the answer, but it wasn’t hard for him to imagine a company deciding that the digital signal for an underperforming station could be better utilized to deliver information than content.

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Online Sports Betting Not Happening In Maryland In 2022

“Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl.”

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Online sports betting in Maryland appears to have no shot of happening this year due mainly to the fact that the state’s oversight committee on sports wagering is hung up on how to bring women and minority-owned businesses into the fold.

The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) is currently awaiting results of a disparity study by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl. But given where SWARC is, the whole process is being held up to the point that it’ll likely be later in 2023 before residents can use their phones to place bets.

It’s been just over a year since Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation that legalized sports betting in the state. Since then, five casinos in the state have opened retail sportsbooks.

The casinos have handled more than $132 million in bets since December. $26.9 million in wagers were placed in April alone.

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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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