ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike are bringing out the heavy artillery for the upcoming NFL season. The popular morning show will offer a daily lineup of veteran football voices starting Monday September 12th according to ESPN Media Zone. The schedule includes regular appearances by Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr..
Each weekday, no fewer than three analysts will join hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic to discuss and analyze the 2016 NFL and college football seasons. A 16-year NFL veteran, Smith Sr. will also contribute to Draw It Up, short, animated digital pieces on ESPN.com, in which players draw a critical play and explain it from their perspective. Smith Sr. is a five-time Pro Bowler and ranks 11th all-time on the NFL’s receiving yards list.
“I’m excited for and appreciative of this opportunity,” said Smith Sr. “What I love about Mike & Mike is that it’s a well-balanced show, and they talk about a lot of different topics. It’s not just about football or something that aims to be shock-jock radio. I definitely hold Golic and Greeny in high regard, because their programing is thoughtful, measured and entertaining.”
“The addition of Steve Smith Sr. will enhance a strong lineup of talent that will further ensure Mike & Mike as the destination for football talk on ESPN Radio and ESPN2,” said David Roberts, vice president, Network Content, ESPN Audio. “The Mike & Mike football team is deep, dynamic, and diverse. As a result, the nation’s flagship morning sports talk program will be well positioned to serve football fans with the very best coverage and programming this fall.”
Each day, Mike & Mike will regularly showcase commentators including:
- Mondays – NFL analyst Ryan Clark NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick and former NFL wide receiver and ESPN Radio host Tom Waddle;
- Tuesdays – Clark, NFL analyst Herm Edwards and ESPN Radio host and SEC Network contributor Paul Finebaum;
- Wednesdays – Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden, college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, SEC Network analyst Booger McFarland and ESPN Radio host and college football analyst Danny Kanell. ESPN College GameDay host Rece Davis will provide college football rankings updates;
- Thursdays – Former NFL head coach Brian Billick, McFarland and NFL analyst Mark Schlereth;
- Fridays – College football analyst Joey Galloway, ESPN Radio host Mike Golic Jr., NFL analyst Ron Jaworski and NFL Insider Field Yates.
In addition, Mike & Mike will frequently feature several well-respected voices: ESPN NFL Insiders Josina Anderson, Jarrett Bell, Adam Schefter and Jim Trotter; espnW writer and The Trifecta co-host Jane McManus and NFL injury analyst Stephania Bell.
Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, co-host McNabb & Custer on ESPN Radio Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET during the fall, will visit the show throughout the season. Matthew Berry will also contribute weekly Fantasy Football updates.
His & Hers co-hosts Jemele Hill and Michael Smith will continue to appear each Wednesday, and on Thursdays, First Take’s Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith will join Greenberg and Golic.
Mike & Mike airs 6 – 10 a.m., Monday – Friday on ESPN2 and ESPN Radio, and can also be heard via ESPNRadio.com, the ESPN app, SiriusXM Channel 80, Apple Music, Slacker Radio and TuneIn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.