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Radio Show Helped OC With UFC

Jason Barrett

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ou probably haven’t heard of UFC Fight Night 43 fighter Sean O’Connell, and if things don’t go his way on Saturday night, you might never hear of him again. That’s the harsh reality of MMA, but O’Connell wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I just want people to know that this is a sport of love, and it’s one of the few ones left in the professional sporting world where you actually have to love the grind and love what you’re doing,” O’Connell told MMAjunkie. “The money isn’t enough to justify getting yourself punched in the face all the time and putting your body and your health at risk.

“I hope that every fighter gets respect from people because it’s one of the last bastions of true athleticism in the professional sporting world. It’s not about chasing that contract and chasing that money. It’s about achieving a dream.”

For O’Connell, that dream has been years in the making. Growing up, his passion was football, but like so many other professional fighters, watching the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” proved a transformative experience.

“I realized those guys weren’t necessarily any better athletes than I was,” O’Connell said. “They were just tough and willing to push themselves. I remember Chris Leben doing a treadmill test on the show, and no one else could do it. He didn’t look like anything special in terms of being an athlete. He’s just got the mental fortitude of going when everyone else was like, ‘I’m done.’ That impressed me.

“I was always a tougher guy than I was truly an athlete, so I was like, ‘I think I’m tough. I think I can do this.’”

The rush of competition helped fill a hole left by the close of a college football career that saw O’Connell transfer between three different schools while looking for an opportunity to secure playing time.

“I was doing rec center cardio kickboxing classes in the offseasons to stay in shape,” Rosholt said. “I was a decent wrestler in high school, but I didn’t take it overly seriously. I was one of those knuckleheads who thought football was my future. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have been a lot more serious about wrestling because I’m 30 years old and I’m still wrestling every damned day.”

O’Connell began his professional MMA career in 2007 and slowly worked his way up the regional scene. He had an early brush with the UFC, falling short in an elimination-round fight to qualify for “The Ultimate Fighter 8.” Still, he remained focused on his goal of competing in the sport’s biggest promotion, even as a career in sports radio began to flourish.

“That’s my big-boy job,” O’Connell joked. “Fighting is my dream.”

O’Connell’s “big-boy job” would eventually get him back in front of the UFC, when he was able to book UFC President Dana White on his San Francisco-area show.

“The UFC was doing their big media tour, and we had Dana White on my show,” O’Connell said. “We asked him the typical questions. My co-host didn’t know a damn thing about MMA, so he was like, ‘What should we ask him?’ I gave him a few questions he could ask, but I was like, ‘I’m going to ask him for a contract.’ My boss was like, ‘You really are?’ I told him, ‘The worst-case scenario is he tells me I’m an idiot, and it’s good radio. Everyone driving in their car will get a laugh.’

“So I was like, ‘When you’re doing this media stuff, have you ever had anyone ask you for a contract.’ Dana laughed, and I was like, ‘No, I’m serious. I’m 14-4. I’m on a five-fight winning streak. I train under Jeremy Horn. I was on Season 8 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ but I lost my fight to get into the house. I’m a prospect. I want a fight.’ He was just like, ‘Huh? Are you being serious? Alright, when we get off the phone, I’m going to give you (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva’s number. He’ll check you out, and we’ll see what happens.’”

For the rest of the story visit MMA Junkie where this story was first published

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16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.

The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets

The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.

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Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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