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Sports Radio Ratings From Around The Country

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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

John Skipper: ‘Charles Barkley Is The Only Broadcaster Fans Tune In To See’

“Dan Patrick asked Skipper if that meant ESPN ever tried to sign Barkley while Skipper was in charge.”

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John Skipper has a very high opinion of Charles Barkley. He joined Dan Patrick on Thursday to talk about Tom Brady’s new deal with FOX. The Meadowlark Media boss made it clear that he thought Barkley was in rarified air amongst his broadcasting colleagues.

“I think there are only three or four people in the history of broadcasting that you can genuinely say people tune in to see them. The late, great John Madden, who just recently passed, was one of those guys. Barkley is the guy right now in all of sports that you can say people will tune in to see him.”

Dan Patrick asked Skipper if that meant ESPN ever tried to sign Barkley while Skipper was in charge.

“There’s almost nobody who’s really, really good that we didn’t try to get,” Skipper said adding that the problem was that ESPN asks its employees to work too much.

He said this same problem came up when he talked to Shaquille O’Neal about coming to Bristol. Skipper pitched Shaq on being the star of ESPN’s NBA coverage instead of “playing second fiddle to Barkley on TNT.”

Skipper says Shaq told him that he had already talked to Charles Barkley, who had said that at TNT there were no rehearsals, no First Take appearances and no SportsCenter hits. The Inside the NBA crew gets to just show up and talk basketball. That was all Shaq was looking for.

John Skipper acknowledged that the workload can be a disadvantage for ESPN in those situations. ESPN has a lot of programming to fill though and the model they use has worked for them. It wasn’t for Shaquillel O’Neal or Charles Barkley, and Skipper says that is okay. TNT created a show that stands out above other studio shows because it plays to its cast’s strengths.

“It’s because they look like they’re having fun,” Skipper said, explaining why Inside the NBA is his favorite sports studio show. “They know what they’re talking about. They’re willing to be provocative, they’re willing to mash it up, and it’s great.”

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Sports Radio News

FanDuel CMO: ‘We Will Never See All 50 States Legalize Sports Betting’

“I think you’ll see a continued, steady pace for the next few years and then you’ll get close to a critical mass, but my hunch would be no. You won’t get all 50.”

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Every year a group of new states decides to legalize sports betting. FanDuel CMO Mike Raffensperger doesn’t think means there will be a day when his company can take bets from wherever it wants in the United States.

“I don’t think it will ever get to 50,” he told Pat McAfee on Thursday.

There are still 15 states where betting on sports is totally illegal. Raffensperger cited Utah as an example, saying that in some places, the opposition to gambling is built into the state constitution. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t expect progress to continue elsewhere.

“I think you’ll see a continued, steady pace for the next few years and then you’ll get close to a critical mass, but my hunch would be no. You won’t get all 50.”

McAfee theorized that the Covid-19 pandemic, while not a good thing, was beneficial in the effort to legalize sports gambling across the country. He asked Raffensperger if it created a culture where more people became used to connecting to the rest of the world on their phones.

Raffensperger answered that it certainly helped. Plus, it was a time when state governments needed to find new sources of income. Sports betting created a whole new tax revenue stream in a time when large sectors of the economy were shut down. That is why he is confident that a good chunk of the 15 holdouts will eventually embrace sports betting.

“This is really common sense legislation,” he said. “Everybody pretty much wants this to happen. It’s taking a black market that is unregulated and unsafe into a safe and regulated environment and it creates new revenue for the state.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Le Batard: ‘Fox Gave $375 Million To Someone Who’s Not Interesting’

“This is one of the easiest jobs in broadcasting. Sitting next to another professional and just being Tom Brady.”

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Reaction continued to pour in on Wednesday to the news that Tom Brady agreed to a massive contract to join the FOX NFL booth.

Dan Le Batard didn’t hold back. He said that $375 million is an absurd amount of money for anyone to make, but he did say that this is all part of a plan for the future Hall of Famer.

“He wants to conquer,” he said. “He’s going to want to conquer the next 20 years. He’s going to do it with a part-time job.”

Domination or not, Le Batard doesn’t think FOX thought much about making a deal with Tom Brady beyond name recognition.

“Tom Brady is not fun or interesting in front of a microphone, Stugotz,” Le Batard said. “They just gave $375 million to somebody who’s never said anything interesting.”

Le Batard added that even though Brady isn’t proven yet on the microphone as an analyst, Brady just being himself is the reason why he commanded so much money.

“This is one of the easiest jobs in broadcasting. Sitting next to another professional and just being Tom Brady,” he said.

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