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Pacers Make TV Changes

Jason Barrett

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The Indiana Pacers’ broadcasts on Fox Sports Indiana will have a different look this season.

Brooke Olzendam, the Pacers TV host and sideline reporter since 2011, has been replaced by Jeremiah Johnson. The change in the broadcast team, with Johnson hosting the pregame and postgame shows, will be seen when Fox Sports Indiana airs its first of two preseason games on Oct. 15.

On Friday, Jamie Berns, Vice President of broadcasting for Pacers Sports and Entertainment, said the team and the network decided not to renew Olzendam’s contract during the offseason.

“Brooke’s contract was up and we had discussions with Brooke’s agent about her coming back,” Berns said, “but in the end, the Pacers and Fox decided to go in a different direction.”

Johnson, a Peru, Ind. native and Ball State graduate, returns as an on-camera talent after spending last year behind the scenes producing pregame Pacers shows as well as collecting postgame interviews in the locker room.

“I’m excited, I grew up in Indiana as a lifelong Pacers fan. I always had a passion for the teams in Indiana,” Johnson told The Star. “This is a dream job and I’m thrilled about the opportunity.”

Previously, Johnson worked at Fox 59 in Indianapolis as a sports anchor and reporter for nearly nine years and has done sideline reporting for IHSAA events.

“He’s been in the market for a long, long time, (a) very experienced sports journalist,” Berns said, “and he did a great job for us last year as the pregame producer.”

Fox Sports Indiana will broadcast 80 of the 82 regular-season games this season. The Pacers are scheduled to play twice on TNT, so the cable network has exclusive rights to the pair of games on Jan. 29 (New York Knicks at Pacers) and April 14 (Washington Wizards at Pacers). Also, Fox Sports Indiana will televise two preseason games – the meeting with the LeBron James’ led Cleveland Cavaliers in Cincinnati and the Oct. 18 home game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Besides the switch with announcers, Berns said that former NBA player Scot Pollard will split pregame and postgame analyst duties with Fever head coach Stephanie White. Pollard played 11 seasons in the NBA including the three with the Pacers from 2003-2006.

For more visit the Indianapolis Star where this was originally published

Sports Radio News

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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