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NBA Strikes New Broadcast Deal

Jason Barrett

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The NBA will receive about twice as much in fees as the prior contracts, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. Time Warner’s TNT and Disney’s ESPN and ABC networks currently pay the NBA about $930 million a year combined in a deal that was set to expire at the end of 2015-2016 season.

Disney and Time Warner took advantage of an exclusive window to negotiate a new deal, locking in a key contract that represented the last major U.S. sports rights that were up for grabs until 2021. Live sporting events like the NBA are ratings gold mines, helping the networks boost viewership and licensing fees from cable and satellite-TV distributors. The deal is crucial to Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes’ plan to turn around Turner Broadcasting, which includes TNT, and increase its fees.

“It’s good to be the NBA,” said Lee Berke, president of LHB Sports Entertainment & Media Inc., a firm that advises professional sports leagues and universities on media rights. “They’ve hit the media marketplace at just the right time, with growing viewership, substantial multi-platform programming and multiple competitors for their rights.”

Online Service

The NBA and ESPN are planning a new online video service that will show live games and also be available to customers who don’t pay for cable or satellite-TV, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified sources.

Mike Bass, a spokesman for the NBA, declined to comment, as did Chris LaPlaca a spokesman for ESPN. A representative for Turner didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some players, including LeBron James, have signed shorter contract in anticipation of more TV money down the road. James, the league’s four-time Most Valuable Player, limited his new $42.1 million agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers to two years to let him negotiate a new deal for the 2016-17 season, when the new TV rights will boost contract values.

Bloomberg reported in July, citing people familiar with the matter, that the NBA was seeking to double its rates over the prior contract. Bloomberg also reported at the time that 21st Century Fox Inc., the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company that tried to buy Time Warner this year, was interested in pursuing the NBA rights.

The current arrangement gives Time Warner rights to air 52 regular-season games and up to 52 playoff games. Disney’s rights have included 75 regular season games and as many as 29 playoff games.

The NBA opens the 2014-2015 season on Oct. 28. The league has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. New York time tomorrow to discuss new media partnerships.

Credit to Bloomberg.com who originally published this article

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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