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Sports Hub Leads Boston Ratings

Jason Barrett

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For the seventh straight three-month ratings period, 98.5 The Sports Hub finished as the top-rated station in Boston according to Nielsen Audio data.

The Sports Hub earned a 7.9 share in the men 25-54 demographic for the spring period of March 27-June 18, edging classic rock station WZLX (7.8), which like the Sports Hub is owned by CBS Radio.

WEEI (93.7) tied for fifth with fellow Entercom-owned station WAAF with a 5.6 share.

The Sports Hub’s numbers are down from the winter (9.3 share) and last spring (10.2). Last spring’s ratings were bolstered even more by the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. The Sports Hub is the flagship station of the Bruins, who lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals this year.

WEEI, the radio home of the Red Sox, saw its ratings tick upward from a 4.6 in the winter and a 5.5 last spring.

In morning drive (6-10 a.m), The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” program was first for the eighth straight three-month period with a 10.0. T&R had a 11.1 in the winter and a massive 13.4 last spring during the Bruins’ run.

WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan” program was second for the third straight period, earning a strong 8.2. That was a significant improvement over last spring’s 6.0 share for the show, which also features Kirk Minihane. D&C had a 7.1 in the winter.

For midday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), the Sports Hub’s “Gresh and Zo” program finished fourth (6.2), down from a second-place 8.9 in the winter. WEEI’s midday programming — which was revamped with the late-May reassignment of Mike Mutnansky and the hiring of Christian Fauria and Tim Benz to join holdover Lou Merloni — finished eighth with a 4.5, up from its 3.5 share in the winter.

In afternoon drive (2-6 p.m.), “Felger and Massarotti” was first for the eighth straight ratings period with a 10.0 share. WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” program, in its first full three-month period since Dale Arnold and Michael Holley were reunited in March, was third with a 5.8. WEEI was fifth with a 5.4 in the time slot during the winter.

From 6-7 p.m., The Sports Hub’s “Baseball Reporters” program hosted by Tony Massarotti was first with an 8.6 share. In the same window, WEEI was tied for fifth (5.2).

In the 7 p.m.-midnight period, The Sports Hub was first with a 9.1 share. “The Adam Jones Show” and Bruins games aired in that day part. WEEI’s “Planet Mikey Show” was tied for 11th (3.9). WEEI, which features Red Sox broadcasts and the Planet Mikey Show, was third with a 7.4.

For more information on the Boston media scene make sure to check out Chad Finn’s column where this story was originally published

Sports Radio News

SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

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 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, All 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 its 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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