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The Fan and The Ticket Tie For 1st in Dallas

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With the Texas Rangers looking like they’re the team to beat in the American League, and the Dallas Cowboys returning for training camp, Dallas sports stations are enjoying strong listener interest in their local programming. In the August ratings book, both 105.3 The Fan and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket had reason to celebrate.

While the focus of this piece is to analyze each daypart and how the stations performed in numerous categories, what should really be highlighted is the fact that two sports stations are riding high atop the Men 25-54 category in the nation’s 5th largest market. We often praise the strong performances of brands in northeast markets, and rightfully so, but don’t lose sleep on what’s happening deep in the heart of Texas. Both The Ticket and The Fan are rolling out great lineups and content, and their consistency is a big reason why this matchup has become fun to watch.

In sizing up the local brands, here are the key takeaways for the month of August. The numbers below are in the Men 25-54 demographic and represent the over the air ratings. No additional streaming numbers were added to lift one station at the expense of the other.

M-Su 6a-Mid

  • The Ticket = 6.3 (tied for 1st)
  • The Fan = 6.3 (tied for 1st)
  • ESPN 103.3 = 1.9 (21st)

Two sports stations tied for 1st in the ratings for the overall week speaks to the power of the sports format in the Dallas market. A job well done by the staffs of The Ticket and The Fan.

M-F 6a-7p

  • The Ticket = 8.4 (1st)
  • The Fan = 5.9 (4th)
  • ESPN 103.3 = 2.1 (tied for 17th)

When they’re head to head in weekday prime hours, The Ticket continues to lead, but that advantage has shrunk in recent months. Just three months ago, the Ticket was nearly six points higher than The Fan. During that time The Fan has increased its share by 1.4 while The Ticket has lost two full points. None the less, The Ticket still remains ahead.

6a-10a

  • The Ticket (Musers) = 10.8 (1st)
  • The Fan (Shan & RJ) = 4.1 (6th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (Mike and Mike and 1-hour of Dan LeBatard) = 3.2 (tied for 10th)

*** The Musers continue to distance themselves from every morning show in the market. They were two solid points ahead of the runner up (a Mexican station) and have a commanding 6.7 share advantage over The Fan. That said, Shan & RJ are up nearly a full point over the past three months and they were just three tenths of a point away from being inside the Top 5. Mike and Mike have held steady over the past few months but remain the third top brand during the spring and summer months. It’ll be interesting to see if their heavy football focus leads to gaining ground during the fall.

10a-3p

  • The Ticket (Norm/Donovan and BaD Radio) = 6.6 (3rd)
  • The Fan (G-Bag Nation) = 6.4 (4th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio and Dennis & Friedo) = 1.2 (26th)

*** This race has really tightened in recent months and although The Ticket holds a two tenths of a point lead for August, this has to be an area of concern heading into the fall. Over the past three months, The Ticket has lost 2.5 points while The Fan has gained 1.8. Even more impressive is that G-Bag Nation have gone up and gained in the ratings during each of the past seven months. For ESPN 103.3 they’re a non-factor during this daypart, and have actually lost two tenths of a point during the past three months.

3p-7p

  • The Ticket (Hardline) = 8.3 (1st)
  • The Fan (Ben & Skin) = 6.7 (2nd)
  • ESPN 103.3 (Cowlishaw and Mosley and ESPN Radio) = 2.2 (18th)

*** This is another competitive daypart between both brands and for The Ticket they have to be pleased with the continued success of The Hardline. The show has not been under an 8 share since January, and has finished 1st during every ratings book in 2016. Their one challenge though will be the Fall which was where they experienced a drop last year. Meanwhile for The Fan, they’ve got to be pleased with Ben & Skin who are only 1.6 behind The Ticket, and who have gained a little more than a point over the past three months. Last fall they beat The Hardline in the September, October, and November books, so if they can create a repeat performance it could help the radio station close out 2016 in strong fashion. Once again ESPN 103.3 is a distant third.

7P-11p

  • The Fan (Texas Rangers/K&C Masterpiece) = 9.6 (1st)
  • The Ticket (Ticket Top 10/Ferrall On The Bench) = 2.4 (20th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio) = 2.0 (22nd)

*** Want to know if the Texas Rangers are making a difference? Look at the disparity during the evenings between The Fan and their two competitors. Rangers baseball is absolutely delivering an impact, and playing an integral role in helping the station perform strongly not only at night, but during the entire M-SU 6a-Mid battle. For The Ticket and ESPN 103.3 they’re way down the ladder in evenings.

There are many ways to spin the numbers from The Fan and The Ticket’s perspectives, but what should be front and center is how important it is for advertisers to buy BOTH stations. They each connect strong (but with different demographics) and given the performance turned in by both stations, if a client wants to maximize their potential in reaching Dallas sports fans, it’s smart business to invest in both stations.

When you look at it from The Ticket’s perspective, they’re going to concentrate on M-F 6a-7p because it’s what their brand does best. They win all three key dayparts head to head during the week against The Fan, and hold claim to two of their shows ranking 1st. They also tied for 1st during the overall week despite not carrying play by play. That’s outstanding. Adding to their story is the fact that they perform well with the older part of the 25-54 demographic. That can be used to their benefit when talking to clients who are trying to reach the decision makers in various households.

If you’re inside the offices of The Fan, you’re going to highlight your overall M-SU 6a-Mid performance where you’re tied for 1st overall in the market. You’re going to use the power of carrying the Rangers and Cowboys to your advantage, and you’re going to point out that two of your three weekday shows are rated in the top 5, and the other is in 6th and only two tenths of a point away. That’s another impressive story to share. When you add in that The Fan is 6th overall with Persons 25-54 (ahead of The Ticket who finished 8th) and tied for 1st overall with Men 18-34 (The Ticket is 14th) you can build a case that the brand is not only built for the present, but is in stronger shape for the future.

Sports Radio News

KNBR’s ‘Murph and Mac’ Talk Barry Bonds’ Baseball Hall of Fame Exclusion

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly joined the show to explain Hall of Fame balloting in baseball’s steroid era.

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KNBR

Amid the current team owners’ lockout, now the longest in Major League Baseball history, the sport is still generating publicity. But the headlines have nothing to do with the labor dispute between the owners and players.

Generating debate is the controversial omission of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens from being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in their final year of eligibility.

This year, 394 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voted in the election, with former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz being the only player on the ballot to surprass the required 75 percent threshold. Ortiz received 77.9 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility.

Bonds and Clemens both allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, significantly impacting their candidacies for baseball immortality. There was outrage in many corners of the baseball world Tuesday night following the announcement, and widespread disappointment from fans of the game who feel that an apparent “blemish” on baseball history is trying to be forcibly erased rather than remembered.

On Wednesday morning, Murph & Mac on San Francisco’s KNBR welcomed The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly to their program to discuss the exclusion of Bonds from Cooperstown and the negative perception the voting process is receiving by members of the media and fans alike.

“In 2014, the Hall of Fame sort of unilaterally changed its rules and reduced the time you can be on the writers’ ballot from 15 years to 10,” Baggarly explained. “There’s no doubt that was intentional to clear the way for steroid-era players that would otherwise linger on the ballot forever.”

Bonds is widely regarded as one of the best hitters to ever take the field, and is baseball’s current record holder for both the most career home runs (762) and the most single-season home runs (73). He also won the National League Most Valuable Player award a record seven times, also receiving 14 All-Star Game selections and 12 Silver Slugger awards.

“When I hear guys like Chris Russo tsk-tsk… Bonds for using steroids, [I say] ‘What, are you kidding me?’” said Brian Murphy, co-host of the Bay Area morning drive program. “How widespread it was in the game, how owners and GMs and team presidents never told players that they would be facing penalties and kept giving them money, and everyone collectively participated? Now, [it’s] ‘No, Mr. Bonds, you can’t do that.’”

For those who are not members of the BBWAA, the perception of the Hall of Fame announcement has generated negative publicity for Major League Baseball during an already-contentious negotiation towards a new collective bargaining agreement. Baseball’s all-time home run leader in Bonds and a seven-time Cy Young Award winner are barred from Cooperstown – for now.

There is another way in, but it is sure to cause even more public controversy, according to Baggarly.

 “Now [Bonds] goes to the committees,” outlined Baggarly. “All of [these] committees meet twice every five-year period. It just so happens that the Today’s Game Committee will meet at the Winter Meetings in December… and they can consider as many as 10 individuals [for the Hall of Fame]… Can you imagine if the panel who elected Commissioner Bud Selig will be the same people who don’t elect Bonds? If you think the writers are getting blasted, just wait.”

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Sports Radio News

Parker Hillis Upped To APD At 104.3 The Fan

“Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019.”

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All on-air talent at 104.3 the Fan in Denver now reports to Parker Hillis. He has been promoted to become the assistant program director of that station and ESPN Denver 1600.

“Parker has been critical to the success of our Bonneville Denver sports properties,” 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver 1600 Program Director Raj Sharan said in a press release. “He’s absolutely earned this opportunity to take on increased responsibilities managing our sports stations on a daily basis.” 

Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019. He came from Dallas, where he worked for Audacy’s 105.3 The Fan.

With the promotion, the station is now looking for a new executive producer. Parker Hillis will oversee that search.

“I’m excited to work with our hosts in a greater capacity on a day-to-day basis,” Hillis said. “The opportunity to lead collaborative efforts among our amazingly talented team is truly an honor.” 

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Doug Gottlieb Calls Out Jeff Passan, Others Arguing For Barry Bonds in Hall of Fame

“Tell me a museum that puts an artist in it who cheated, who takes credit for what someone else did. Do you think it would hang in the Louvre?”

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The Baseball Hall of Fame election results were announced Tuesday evening with some big names up for induction. Most notably, David Ortiz was elected while longtime nominees Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were once again snubbed.

Many fans and media personalities believe Bonds specifically should have been inducted because of his on-the-field accolades and achievements. They seem to believe his alleged steroid usage is irrelevant. or at least not worth the snub.

Doug Gottlieb, on his Fox Sports Radio show, took the Hall of Fame’s side and called out ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who advocated for Bonds on television. The host used several analogies to explain why society does not honor those who have cheated in their respective fields. 

“The core of what you are as an athlete is how hard you work,” said Gottlieb. “You’ve got natural ability, how can you get better, and at some point you come to that end. Clemens and Bonds robbed Father Time, and they robbed baseball. Shame on you, Jeff Passan, calling it a museum. Tell me a museum that puts an artist in it who cheated, who takes credit for what someone else did. Do you think it would hang in the Louvre?”

Gottlieb makes a strong argument. As he mentioned, Bonds not only broke the rules but was also caught. While other players who used steroids may have snuck in somehow, Gottlieb compared it to being pulled over for speeding.

“It’s like you get caught speeding,” he said, “somebody else was going 90 and zips past you five minutes before you were speeding, and you’re sitting there going like ‘Yeah, I was speeding but that guy was going faster.’ That doesn’t actually work in real life.”

You can listen to the rest of Gottlieb’s thoughts at the Fox Sports Radio website.

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