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College football on radio

College football on radio includes the radio broadcasting of college football games, as well as pre- and post-game reports, analysis, and human-interest stories.

Events leading up to radio broadcastsEdit

In 1911, more than 1,000 people gathered in downtown Lawrence, Kansas to watch a mechanical reproduction of the 1911 Kansas vs. Missouri football game while it was being played. A Western Union telegraph wire was set up direct from Columbia, Missouri. A group of people then would announce the results of the previous play and used a large model of a football playing field to show the results. Those in attendance cheered as though they were watching the game live, including the school's legendary Rock Chalk, Jayhawk cheer.[1]

Radio broadcastsEdit

College football games have been broadcast since 1921, beginning with the 1921 West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh football game on October 8 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[2] The first game broadcast nationwide happened the following year, with the 1922 Princeton vs. Chicago football game.[3] The game had Grantland Rice dub Princeton the "Team of Destiny."

Today, virtually every college football game (at least from Division III on up; junior college, club/junior varsity squads and sprint football teams tend not to have radio coverage) is broadcast on the radio in their local market and many are broadcast nationally. Division III teams may rely on student-run radio stations (or, sometimes, college-owned public radio stations) as their only broadcast outlet, but Division I teams generally garner enough interest to be broadcast not only on commercial radio, but on a network of stations covering a wide region. Other coverage includes local broadcasts of weekly coach's programs. Sports USA Radio Network, Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, ESPN Radio, Touchdown Radio, and Nevada Sports Network all distribute college football broadcasts on a nationwide basis. Additionally Notre Dame and BYU have their games distributed nationally through IMG.

Radio broadcasts of Canadian university football are not as consistent. There is generally no national radio broadcasting of university football, much in the same way that the sport is not nationally (or internationally) televised. Teams in mid-sized markets tend to be broadcast on radio, while those in the largest cities or suburbs (where the sport has to compete with much higher-profile professional sports) typically do not.

On the Internet, Division I schools tend to place audio streaming of their radio broadcasts behind paywalls. Lower divisions and Canadian teams typically allow their affiliates and/or flagship stations to broadcast the game online without any additional fees.

List of National Radio Broadcast teamsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "100 years ago: Football fans enjoy mechanized reproduction of KU-MU game". Lawrence Journal-World. November 27, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  2. ^ Sciullo Jr, Sam, ed. (1991). 1991 Pitt Football: University of Pittsburgh Football Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Sports Information Office. p. 116.
  3. ^ staff (October 28, 2009). "Princeton-Chicago football game is broadcast across the country". A+E Networks. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.