The Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in professional sports to launch an exclusive HD radio channel when “Pittsburgh Penguins Radio on 105.9 HD2” went on the air Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9 a.m.
The HD channel features Pittsburgh area native Steve Mears as host of a daily show, “Penguins Live,” from 9:30 a.m.- 12 noon each weekday during the season. Mears, 29, spent the last three seasons as the radio play-by-play voice for the New York Islanders. A native of Murrysville and a graduate of Franklin Regional High School, Mears grew up as a Penguins fan, idolizing Mario Lemieux and Mike Lange.
WXDX-FM sports personality Mark Madden also will do one hour of exclusive Penguins and NHL-themed content from 2-3 p.m. each weekday during the season.
Overall, “Pittsburgh Penguins Radio on 105.9 HD2” will feature unique Penguins content on a daily basis and also offer special NHL programming. It will be streamed on pittsburghpenguins.com
The new venture is a joint effort between the Penguins and 105.9 The X (WXDX-FM), the team’s radio flagship station.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Penguins and our partners at The X to take advantage of new technology and deliver fresh programming to the greatest fans in hockey,” said Dave Soltesz, the Penguins’ senior vice president of corporate sales. “We’ve already got an exceptional radio broadcast, with Mike Lange and Phil Bourque calling all of our regular season and playoff games on The X. The new HD channel will enable us to provide additional unique content about the Penguins and the NHL during the day.”
On “Penguins Live,” Mears is joined by Pittsburgh radio personality Tom Grimm, who also will produce “Penguins Live.”
In addition to “Penguins Live,” the HD channel also carries “NHL Live” from New York each weekday from 12 noon-2 p.m., followed by Madden from 2-3 p.m.
The daily programming began with the “Daily Players’ Playlist,” from 9-9:30 a.m., featuring Penguins’ players favorite songs.
The six-hour block (9 a.m-3 p.m.) is repeated during the day and evening.
The Penguins’ HD channel was featured this week in the national Sports Business Journal.