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Blundell Gains Ground In Toronto

Jason Barrett

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Dean Blundell fared much better in his second month on the air for Toronto sports radio station Sportsnet 590 The Fan, while his chief rival’s ratings faded.

Blundell & Co., which replaced Brady and Walker, with hosts Greg Brady and Andrew Walker, as The Fan’s morning show on March 2, drew an average share of 3.3 per cent of listeners between ages 25 to 54 in April. That was a sizeable jump from 2.3 per cent in March.

At the same time, TSN Toronto 1050’s morning show, Mike Richards in the Morning, slid from an average share of 1.3 in March to 0.7 in April.

While it is only one month, the trend is encouraging for Fan owner Rogers Media, as Blundell’s 3.3 April share also stopped a steady morning-ratings slide that started a year earlier with Brady and Walker.

Bumping Brady and Walker to the 1-4 p.m. weekday slot initially created controversy because their ratings were considered stable, while Blundell’s mix of vulgar and sometimes misogynistic and homophobic humour in his previous job (on Toronto FM station 102.1 The Edge) kept him in hot water with Canada’s broadcast authorities.

Rogers never fully explained the reasons for the switch to Blundell, but the ratings now tell the story. A broadcast-industry source provided radio ratings from Numeris that showed Brady and Walker’s decline started in April, 2014, and they were never able to arrest the slide. That April, Brady and Walkerhad a 4.8 share of adults 25 to 54 in the morning slot; by February, 2015, that share was down to 2.4.

When Blundell’s 25-to-54 audience share dipped to 2.3 in his first month, there was much chortling from critics, especially when Richards simultaneously increased his share from 1.1 in February to 1.3 in March.

Blundell also increased his share of what is considered The Fan’s target audience, males ages 18 to 49. In March, Blundell had a 3.5 share with that group and raised it to 4.9 in April. This appears to have been done at the expense of Richards. His share of the men 18 to 49 went from 2.4 in March to 1.1 in April.

One explanation for Blundell’s improvement is the Toronto Blue Jays. Their season started in early April and The Fan is their long-time radio broadcaster. The theory is that listeners who go to sleep with the Jays’ game on their clock radios tend to wake up to the same station’s morning show.

The Jays games are The Fan’s highest-rated broadcasts, although Numeris does not separate them from the station’s other evening programs. The Numeris ratings for that slot in April gave the Jays a 4.9 share of adults 25 to 54, higher than for any other show on The Fan.

Running second to the Jays games was The Fan’s enduring drive-time show,Prime Time Sports with host Bob McCown, while Blundell’s show was third among the station’s shows. Prime Time drew a 4.4 share of adults 25 to 54 in April, up from 3.6 in March. McCown’s competition at 1050, TSN Drive with Dave Naylor, posted a 1.4 share in April, up slightly from 1.3 in March.

Credit to the Globe and Mail who originally published this article

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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