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Reverse Syndication Is Reality

After weeks of speculation, and as The Media Backpage first opined just about a month ago, "Opie and Anthony" have returned to the airwaves.  The duo returned to broadcast radio in New York and six other markets.  For the radio industry, at the same time it experienced its first dose of reverse-syndication.  The concept aptly named for its inverted take on syndication, brings satellite radio content to radio listeners over terrestrial radio, whereas the traditional methodology of syndication rebroadcast terrestrial content on the satellite radio providers.   

The CBS/XM Agreement in Brief:

  • Opie and Anthony on both Free-FM and XM 6-9AM ET, XM only from 6-11AM
  • XM version of the show is uncensored.
  • O&A gain access to their old content from their stint on CBS’ WNEW.

The unique arrangement means that for the first time listeners will have the option to hear a show that is available on regular radio at the same time via satellite and uncensored.  So while the beeps and dumpouts will be there, the audience can simply subscribe and hear a fully unedited live feed of the broadcast.  Specifically, under this agreement which brings the Opie and Anthony show back to CBS Radio’s Free-FM outlets, the talk show hosts will also do at least two hours a day of radio that will be available only on XM.

For XM, and CBS, this is a great arrangement.  Free-FM (or more broadly the concept of FM-based talk radio aimed at 25-54 year old men) gets a shot in the arm and a fair chance to succeed.  Meanwhile, XM can count on Opie and Anthony using their new megaphone to tout their trademark outrageous stunts and contests that are undoubtedly bound to happen often while the duo is only on satellite later in the morning.

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