Sports broadcasting has few sure things, but one of the annual certainties is networks bringing in a new crop of former NFL players and coaches with hopes of landing the next on-air star. This week, NBC Sports will add to the cause with a number of new hires.
The network has added longtime NFL coach Kevin Gilbride; Jason Taylor, the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end and 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year; 15-year NFL veteran Takeo Spikes; and Brian Westbrook, the two-time Pro Bowl running back for the Eagles who has worked for a couple of different broadcast outlets. All will be regulars on Pro Football Talk, the NBC Sports Network show hosted by MikeFlorio which airs at 5:30 p.m. ET every Monday through Friday. That show also has a new co-host alongside Florio: NBC has brought in former NFL Network studio host and anchor Paul Burmeister to replace Erik Kuselias.
Gilbride was part of the NFL for 27 years and was the head coach of the Chargers in 1997 and ’98. He is best known for his work as an offensive coordinator, having helped direct the Giants’ Super Bowl-winning teams in 2007 and ’11. Among the quarterbacks he worked with during his three-decade coaching tenure: Mark Brunell, Warren Moon and Eli Manning. Gilbride announced his retirement last January amidreports that he was about to lose his position with New York. He will appear Mondays and Fridays on the show.
Gilbride said on Tuesday he is not looking to go back into coaching. As is often the case for NFL television hires, Gilbride found a broadcast agent (Maury Gofstrand), who reached out to sports television executives (in this case NBC’s Dan Steir, Senior Vice President, Production & Senior Coordinating Producer, NBC Sports Group) about employment. They met for lunch a couple of months ago and consummated a deal.
“This is something I wanted to transition into,” Gilbride said on Tuesday. “I didn’t want to get out of football completely. I wanted to come home [he and his wife live in Rhode Island] and stay involved in the game and continue to study and stay abreast of the new developing trends. I’ve always enjoyed the Xs and Os aspect of it.
“I certainly feel I can give a valid critique of what took place in a game, explain why and what the thinking was with players and coaches, or why that mistake occurred. I will have no difficulty in judging whether something was a good or bad decision and maybe even offer some alternatives on other ideas. People just see the behavior, the action. But what has always been fascinating to me is what are the causes that led to that behavior.”
For more news on stories like this visit Richard Deitsch on SI where this article was originally published
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.