CBS Offering Out-of-Market Signals via HD Radio Multicast

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CBS is now spreading some of its major market signals across outlets in smaller markets across the country, according to a company press release.

Four of what are described as the group's most listened to stations, WFAN 660 New York City (The Fan), KROQ 106.7 Los Angeles (World Famous Rock), WBZ FM 98.5 Boston (Sports), and KSCF 103.7 (Sophie) in San Diego, will be carried as multicast signals over CBS FM stations in other markets.

Current plans call for WFAN to air in Orlando, Tampa and West Palm in an attempt to draw New York sports expats there. Meanwhile, KROQ and KSCF will be turning up in each other's markets, with KROQ actually appearing on KSCF's HD2 stream, while KCSF reaches Los Angeles via KAMP 97.1 HD2. And WBZ will be making its way into the Hartford market via WTIC 96.5 HD3, presumably at a low bit-rate.

The move is seen as a continuation of a trend CBS began in September 2009 when it announced it would be placing its LAST FM Web stream on company FM HD Radio multicast channels in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Termed "brand extension" by some, spreading existing content across outlets is becoming a regular practice by CBS and other cash-strapped radio groups as they attempt to hold down production costs while providing new content sources in a given market.

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