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Sports Radio Ratings From Around The Country

Jason Barrett

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The December ratings are in for a number of cities and that means the Fall Book has now come to an end. Rather than doing a number of market specific pieces, I figured I’d share some key details from a couple of top brands in various cities. As other stations report their data I’ll be sure to update that as well.

New York: WFAN bested 98.7 ESPN NY for the Fall Book. In mornings, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton did a 6.2 to finish third with Men 25-54. ESPN’s Mike & Mike was 11th with a 3.6. In middays, Joe & Evan on WFAN were 5th with a 6.1, ESPN’s Dan LeBatard Show which had recently signed on the radio station in September, turned in a 2.3 to place 15th.

From 1p-3p, Mike Francesa’s first two hours of his show on WFAN delivered a 7.9 which was more than triple the number of Alan Hahn & Rick DiPietro who produced a 2.5. The positive news for ESPN’s program is that this was their first ratings book and they were up from 1.8 which Mike Lupica’s show previously generated.

In afternoons, Mike Francesa won the head to head battle with Michael Kay. Francesa’s show between 3p-6:30p turned in a 6.8 compared to Kay’s program which did a 4.2 during that same time period. Overall, Francesa’s full show from 1p-6:30p registered a 7.2 which placed the program 2nd overall, only a tenth of a point behind WCBS.

Chicago: ESPN 1000 won the Fall Book versus 670 The Score. The station finished 1st M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8, narrowly edging The Score which was 2nd with a 4.7. They also came in 6th with a 4.2 M-SU 6a-Mid while The Score was 8th with a 3.8.

In show by show comparisons, The Score won the morning battle with Mully & Hanley finishing 4th with a 5.2 while Mike & Mike came in 6th with a 4.7. In the middays, Spiegel & Goff on The Score were 2nd with a 5.1 opposite  Carmen & Jurko who were 7th with a 3.8.

David Kaplan who joined ESPN 1000 in September after leaving WGN finished 1st with a 4.9 during his hours of 12p-2p. In the afternoon matchup, ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy produced a 5.5 to finish 1st while The Score’s Boers & Bernstein were 5th with a 4.2.

The Score airs an hour of Spiegel & Goff and an hour of Boers & Bernstein between 12p-2p opposite Kaplan’s show.

San Francisco: KNBR won the month with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8 to 3.8 against 95.7 The Game. However, it was their lowest number in the demo in two years and down from a 6.1 last year. The Game during that same time has grown from a 3.4 to 3.8.

Head to Head, KNBR won in mornings with Murph & Mac delivering a strong 6.1 compared to The Game’s Chad, Joe & Lo program turning in a 3.9. Gary & Larry on KNBR produced a 3.5 from 10a-12p which was slightly ahead of Haberman & Middlekauff’s 3.0. The Game once again beat KNBR 12p-3p, with Papa & Lund beating Fitz & Brooks 4.2 to 3.1. In afternoon, Tom Tolbert had a big month finishing with a 5.3 which was ahead of Damon Bruce who had a 3.0. Although the 49ers and Raiders haven’t turned in big numbers, KNBR has seen a lift from the Warriors thanks to the team’s hot start to the season.

Dallas: Both The Fan and The Ticket have stories to celebrate heading into the holidays. In the December book, The Fan won the head to head matchup with The Ticket for M-SU 6a-Mid. The Fan was 5th with a 4.2, The Ticket was 6th with a 4.0. For M-F 6a-7p the nod went to The Ticket which delivered a 5.0 to place 4th. The Fan came in 5th with a 4.2.

In show by show comparisons, The Musers dominated morning drive finishing 1st with an 8.3. The Fan was 9th with a 3.3. In middays (10a-3p) The Ticket (6th) edged The Fan (8th) 4.0 to 3.8 and in afternoons it went 5.4 for The Ticket (3rd) and 4.4 for The Fan (6th). When you analyze the data year over year, The Ticket has lost a ratings point and The Fan has gained one, which is a big reason why the two stations are locked in a very tight battle. Expect more of that to continue with both brands in 2016.

Philadelphia: WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic were once again locked in a fierce battle in the city of brotherly love for the December book. In morning drive, WIP’s Angelo Cataldi delivered a 8.5 and beat The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano who turned in a 7.4. In middays, WIP led by Michael Barkann and Ike Reese generated a 6.5 which was ahead of The Fanatic’s Harry Mayes & Rob Ellis who produced a 5.5. In afternoon drive, Mike Missanelli won the month for The Fanatic with an 8.1, one tenth of a point ahead of Josh Innes who had an 8.0. Innes did however best Missanelli for the Fall Book with an 8.3 to 8.1 victory.

One item that figures to be a hot topic of conversation in 2016 in the market is streaming. When digital numbers are added to the equation, The Fanatic is seeing a bigger lift than WIP. That’ll be something for us to keep an eye on.

Washington DC: The month belonged once again to 106.7 The Fan, as the station finished 7th with a 4.9 with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p, and 9th with a 4.1 M-SU 6a-Mid. The stations numbers were two tenths of a point lower than November. By comparison, ESPN 980 was 16th with a 2.4 for M-F 6a-7p and 17th with a 2.5 M-F 6a-Mid. Last month they were 15th M-F 6a-7p with a 2.5 and 15th with M-SU 6a-Mid with a 2.7.

For the talk shows, The Fan held serve as the top dog in the market with Men 25-54. In mornings, The Sports Junkies lost a tenth of a point between November and December, going from a 4.8 to a 4.7 to finish in 7th. ESPN 980 experienced slight growth going from a 2.2 and 15th in November to 2.6 and 14th in December. The station’s decision to drop “The Man Cave” and replace them with “Mike & Mike” did not hurt the radio station.

In middays, Grant and Danny also lost a few tenths, dropping from 6.8 in November to 6.4 in December. They remain in 2nd place and are the top rated show in the market. For 980 during the 10a-2p hours (Tony Kornheiser and The Sports Fix), the station grew from 2.4 and 16th in November to 2.5 and 15th in December.

During afternoon drive, Chad Dukes had a 4.2 to place 9th which was slightly down from last month’s 4.5 when he also finished 9th. 980 meanwhile between 2p-6p (Inside The Locker Room and two hours of Steve Czaban’s show) had their biggest decline, falling from 2.8 and 13th in November to 2.3 and 19th in December.

What I particularly found interesting is that both brands experienced a minor dip during a period when the Redskins were picking up steam in the NFC. One would think that with Kirk Cousins making his presence felt on the field and on camera (You Like That?), and the team battling for the NFC East crown that the numbers would increase. That’ll be something to watch heading into next month.

Boston: The nation’s most competitive market didn’t disappoint as sports radio finished 1st and 2nd respectively for the Fall Book with Men 25-54. 98.5 The Sports Hub led the way with a 13.6 while WEEI was behind them with a 9.1.

In sizing up the head to head show comparisons, The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich finished first in mornings with a 14.6. WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan which includes Kirk Minihane was second at a 13.4. Incredible numbers from both shows. In middays, Zolak & Bertrand on The Sports Hub came in 1st with a 12.3. WEEI’s Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni & Christian Fauria placed 3rd with an 8.5. In afternoons, Felger & Massarotti were 1st on The Sports Hub with a phenomenal 16.9. WEEI’s Dale & Holley which also features Jerry Thornton, were strong with a 9.6.

During the evenings, The Sports Hub which airs Adam Jones’ Show and Bruins and Celtics play by play, came in first with an 11.4. WEEI which offers The Planet Mikey Show finished second with a 7.8.

St. Louis: 101 ESPN had an excellent Fall Book, producing an 8.3 to finish 3rd overall with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p. The station was also 9th with Persons 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8. Those performances helped the station finish the month as the market’s top rated spoken word station. In addition, Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler, Stalter & Duncan and The Fast Lane with Karraker, Farr & Thompson all finished 3rd in their respective timeslots.

Minneapolis: KFAN in Minneapolis finished the month once again in 1st with Men 25-54 but this time the brand also occupied the top spot with Persons 25-54. Their performance this year is among the best in the format across the entire country. The station generated a massive 15.7 rating with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p and a 15.0 M-F 6a-Mid.

For the individual shows, The Power Trip morning show and Paul Allen’s midday show were both 1st overall with Men 25-54 with a 16.8. The Common Man’s midday program finished with a 14.2 and was also #1, and afternoon host Dan Barreiro turned in an outstanding 16.0 to also finish 1st. When you register #1 in every single daypart on your radio station, that my friends is called massive success.

As additional information comes in from other markets we’ll keep you updated!

Sports Radio News

Hebert: Bally Sports is Taking Advantage of Customers

“Pathetic, Bally, read the room! You suck!”

Jordan Bondurant

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T-Bob Hebert

Bally Sports is getting set to roll out its premium streaming service Bally Sports+ on September 26.

All 19 of the Bally regional sports networks will be able to stream games on the service.

Those interested can pay either $19.99 a month or $189.99 per year for the service. But one Baton Rouge host thinks the asking price to watch New Orleans Pelicans games this season on the service is too steep.

“I‘m going to put this as succinctly as I can. F Bally Sports,” T-Bob Hebert said on Off The Bench on 104.5 ESPN Wednesday. “The worst part is I love (Pelicans broadcasters) Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels. I think they’re one of the best combinations in the entirety of the NBA. And it’s not even that you’re asking me to pay. I’m down to pay.”

“But $20 a month?!? That is rapacious,” Hebert added. “You are taking advantage because you know that you have the only avenue with which to view this Pelicans team.”

Currently Bally Sports New Orleans is only available in the market on DirecTV. Apparently none of the other cable providers carry the network, so Bally seems to have fans by the jugular. That doesn’t sit well with Hebert.

“‘Just bundle it with DirecTV,'” Hebert said mockingly. “I don’t want to!! I just want to watch the games!”

Hebert added that given the added excitement level surrounding this Pelicans team, it’s really doing the fans a disservice to charge $20 a month to watch.

“They’re making it oppressively hard and expensive on the actual people who care and want to watch,” he said. “Pathetic, Bally, read the room! You suck!”

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Sports Radio News

Brady Quinn Calls Paul Finebaum A “SEC Thumper”

“Give him a break. He’s an SEC thumper,” Quinn said.

Jordan Bondurant

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Brady Quinn, Paul Finebaum

College football season kicks off in the next couple of weeks, and earlier this week the Associated Press released its preseason national top 25 rankings.

Alabama claimed the top spot, with Ohio State, defending national champion Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame rounding out the top five.

But Paul Finebaum apparently took issue with Notre Dame being ranked where they were, and said partly why the Fighting Irish shouldn’t be in the top five is because of their Week 1 matchup.

“They should not even be in the top ten. It’s an absolute joke, and it happens every year with the AP poll, which is about as worthless as NFL preseason football,” Finebaum said in a recent appearance on ESPN. “It’s ridiculous. Notre Dame is going to get run in the first game of the season. I mean they’re going to get destroyed at The Big House…They’ll be fortunate to go 9-3. It’s laughable they’re in the top five or six.”

On FOX Sports Radio, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn felt the need to set Finebaum straight. He did firstly by correcting the SEC Network host, who said Notre Dame would be playing Michigan to open the season. Notre Dame is playing at Ohio State in Week 1.

“Give him a break. He’s an SEC thumper,” Quinn said on 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe on Wednesday. “So I’m surprised he even knows where Ohio State is to be honest with you, or Notre Dame. Apparently he doesn’t.”

Hey Paul, how many teams are going to walk in to Ohio State and Columbus this year and beat them?” Quinn asked. “Probably no one.”

Quinn finished by taking a little jab at the fact that the Notre Dame/Ohio State game would be in primetime for ESPN, which runs the SEC Network.

“He’s bashing his employer’s matchup between these two and trying to downplay it,” he said. “So well done, Paul, lot of logic there.”

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Sports Radio News

Zolak and Bertrand Broadcast During Patriots/Panthers Fights

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak.

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Zolak and Bertrand

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand were broadcasting live from the New England Patriots’ joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. During their show, things got heated between the two teams, multiple times, and the show was there to call it all.

Bertrand was bringing the show back from commercial break and noted that there had just been a fight moments before Zolak and Bertrand were live.

“This drill got escalated by the Panthers here,” said co-host and former Patriots quarterback. “This is number three (fights)in a freaking kickoff drill. A kickoff drill!”

Shortly after, Bertrand was describing the efforts to separate the two teams when even more chaos erupted.

“They’ve separated all the players,” began Bertrand, sensing some calm was being restored. “They’ve sent them on their way to the next period so you’ve got — and now here comes another fight. Another major fight! It’s happening right in front of the stands.”

“These guys are a-holes man,” spoke Zolak. “Get these clowns out of here. All they want to do is fight. This is unreal. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“What a scene,” said Bertrand.

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak. “Thank God we’re down here!”

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