The San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) and Comcast SportsNet California (@CSNAuthentic) today announced that Sharks Alumnus Jamie Baker (@Bakes_Jamie13), who has spent the past nine seasons as the Sharks radio color commentator, has been named the television color commentator for Sharks games broadcast on Comcast SportsNet California.
2006 Stanley Cup Winner and 17-year NHL veteran Bret Hedican (@BretHedican) has been named as the team’s radio color analyst. Hedican will work alongside venerable play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky (@DanRusanowsky), adding his well-respected analysis on the team’s flagship station, 98.5 FM KFOX (@kfox) and the Sharks Radio Network.
Additionally, former Shark and 12-year NHL veteran Curtis Brown will serve as lead analyst for Comcast SportsNet California’s “Sharks Pregame Live” and Sharks Postgame Live” shows.
“We are extremely pleased to have Jamie and Bret on our broadcast team to work alongside Randy Hahn and Dan Rusanowsky,” said Chief Operating Officer John Tortora. “Over the past nine seasons, Jamie has earned the trust of our fans with his candid analysis and breakdown of the game and Bret will bring a fresh and knowledgeable commentary to our radio broadcast. We are excited to be able to have two veteran NHL players complement Randy and Dan, who we feel are the best play-by-play broadcasters in all of hockey. Furthermore, we’re excited that Curtis, another member of the Sharks family, will have an enhanced role on our pre- and post-game telecasts.”
Baker will continue to appear on Comcast SportsNet California’s “Sharks Pregame Live” and “Sharks Postgame Live” programs. Baker’s high-energy personality, enthusiasm and excellent knowledge of the NHL have greatly enhanced Sharks radio broadcasts over the past nine seasons. In addition, his dedication to grassroots marketing has helped expand the ever-growing youth hockey population in the Bay Area.
Hedican joins the Sharks broadcast team full-time after spending the past five seasons as a pre-game, post-game and “Inside the Glass” analyst for Comcast SportsNet California’s coverage of Sharks hockey, and he will continue to appear on both shows. Working with Rusanowsky, Hedican will provide expert, first-hand knowledge of the nuances and inner workings of the game.
A 12-year NHL veteran as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks and parts of three seasons with the Sharks, Brown joins Comcast SportsNet California full-time as the lead analyst for “Sharks Pregame Live” and “Sharks Postgame Live.” He has been working with the network for the past three seasons as a studio analyst. Brown will co-anchor the pre- and post-game shows with 12-time regional Emmy Award winner Brodie Brazil (@brodiebrazilCSN).
Seven-time regional Emmy Award winner Hahn will serve as the voice for Comcast SportsNet California’s broadcasts, his 22nd full season calling Sharks hockey.
On the radio dial at 98.5 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network, veteran radio play-by-play announcer Rusanowsky will return for his 24th consecutive season as the “Voice of the Sharks,” alongside Hedican.
For more information visit SJSharks.com.
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.