Starting this fall, broadcasts of Nebraska athletics in Omaha will move from their longtime home on KFAB (1110 AM) to KXSP (590 AM), aka AM 590 ESPN Radio. IMG, the operators of the Husker Sports Network, announced the new arrangement with Journal Broadcast Group, the owners of five Omaha radio stations as well as KMTV-channel 3 in Omaha.
Starting this fall, all Nebraska football, basketball (men's and women's), volleyball, and baseball games will be heard on AM 590 in Omaha. In the event of conflicting broadcasts when two events are happening simultaneously, some broadcasts will move to KKCD (105.9 FM), aka CD 105. Football games will also be broadcast on KEZO (92.3 FM), aka Z-92, the longtime home of Todd-n-Tyler.
The big advantage to Nebraska fans with the change is that AM 590 will now carry all three hours of Sports Nightly on Monday through Thursday evenings. KFAB currently preempts the third hour of Sports Nightly in order to carry the Glenn Beck show on a delayed basis. KFAB also did not carry some non-conference baseball games, and relegated women's basketball and volleyball coverage to KFFF (93.3 FM), aka "The Wolf" in Omaha.
Another advantage is that the AM 590 signal generally travels further than KFAB's signal. The 590 signal typically reaches southern Minnesota (Fairmont and Worthington) as well as Sioux Falls, SD, Des Moines, IA, and much of the Kansas City metropolitan area. That's handy for Husker fans driving to and from Lincoln, who won't have to worry as much about losing the signal as they get further and further from Omaha.
(And yes, while you can get these broadcasts streaming on the internet, everybody knows that data service is spotty while driving in rural areas. And frankly, why would you waste your data plan when you can get it on your radio?)
All of the announcers for Nebraska sporting events are under contract with IMG; this change shouldn't directly affect the voices you hear on the broadcasts.
KFAB had held the rights to Nebraska sports from 1926 to 1996, when KFAB lost the rights to Pinnacle Sports, which moved the games to KKAR (1290 AM). After complaints from fans who couldn't pick up broadcasts on 1290 AM outside of the Omaha area, Pinnacle Sports reached a new agreement to return the games to KFAB in 2001, where they've been since.
Prior to KFAB winning the exclusive rights to Nebraska sports in 1983, AM 590 (then known as WOW-AM) also broadcast Nebraska football for many years in the years when KFAB, WOW and Lincoln's KFOR and KLIN radio all had their own broadcasts (and networks) for football. In those days, WOW was the Jaysker station, as WOW carried only Nebraska football, then switched to Creighton basketball games. Joe Patrick was the legendary play-by-play voice for Nebraska football on WOW from 1968 to 1982; he continued to call Creighton basketball into the 1990's.
In recent years, AM 590 had lost much of it's sports broadcasts. Creighton sports transitioned to KOZN (1620 AM) two years ago, leaving only Iowa Hawkeyes and Kansas City Chiefs football as the only live events on the station. Needless to say, AM 590 has picked up quite an impressive inventory of programming for a long underutilized signal.