Dan Patrick To NBC Sports Radio?

On the heels of CBS luring Jim Rome's radio show to their new sports radio network, launching full-time in January, it's only a matter of time before his peer, NBC television personality Dan Patrick, brings his own radio show to NBC Sports Radio.

Logic dictates that Dan Patrick’s syndicated radio show will eventually be making its way to NBC Sports Radio Network. Consider these facts:

Earlier this week, sources have reported that Jim Rome’s radio show would be moving to CBS Sports Radio next year.

Rome’s current deal with Clear Channel/Premiere Networks, which has been syndicating “The Jim Rome Show” to hundreds of radio stations since 1995 – mostly Fox Sports Radio stations – expires at the end of this year.

CBS Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup is scheduled to bow at the beginning of next year.

How convenient.

As you know, this past spring, Rome relocated his television post from ESPN, which aired the “Rome Is Burning” program (later retitled “Jim Rome Is Burning”), to CBS Sports Network, current home of the succinctly-titled “Rome” show. Which means that both of Rome’s daily programs will be under the CBS Sports umbrella once CBS Sports Radio fully launches on January 2 (its official launch, upon which they will offer hourly updates and commentaries, is Tuesday).

Now, let’s look at Dan Patrick, who, along with Rome, rounded out the top three of Talkers Magazine’s inaugural “Sports Talk Heavy Hundred” list this year – and with local New York host Mike Francesa topping that list, that means Rome and Patrick host the two most popular syndicated sports radio shows in the country.

Like Rome’s radio show, “The Dan Patrick Show” is heard on most Fox Sports Radio affiliates (the aforementioned Clear Channel distributes Fox Sports Radio). When it launched in the fall of 2007, the show was produced via Jimmy DeCastro’s The Content Factory, which owned the show’s rights; Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks handled sales and syndication. In the fall of 2009, DirecTV Sports Group took over as the show’s parent producer; a television simulcast of Patrick’s radio show had just started on DirecTV months earlier. Yet Premiere still acted as a sales and syndication liaison; in fact, last January, Premiere renewed its long-term agreement with DirecTV.

Like Rome, Patrick is a notable name that left ESPN. And like Rome, Patrick has a presence on television, having been on the NBC payroll since 2008.

So, you have CBS and NBC both starting up their brand new sports radio networks. CBS has all but secured their big-name television star for their radio side – so who’s to say NBC wouldn’t do the same at some point?

I would imagine NBC is chomping at the bit to bring Patrick into the NBC Sports Radio fold. It would likely be contingent on when Premiere’s long-term agreement with DirecTV expires.

For Clear Channel/Premiere to let Rome walk is one thing; for them to lose Patrick on top of that would be a one-two punch that might enable either CBS or NBC’s sports radio networks, if not both, not only to surpass Fox Sports Radio as far as popular talent on their rosters is concerned, but with both hosts possessing the two most popular syndicated sports radio programs, this could lead to more clearances for CBS and/or NBC – and, in turn, less for Fox.

More food for thought: Patrick’s NBC “Football Night In America” colleague Rodney Harrison will be hosting a weekly show, “Safety Blitz,” on NBC Sports Radio starting next weekend.

Give NBC Sports Radio credit for having some regularly scheduled shows right out of the gate when they also sign on the air Tuesday, but there is still no target date for a 24/7 NBCSRN launch. Perhaps that’ll be made known as soon as they’ve acquired syndication rights to Dan Patrick’s radio show?

If and when that happens, the battle between the two neophyte sports radio networks will really be, dare I say, en fuego.

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