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Univision To Launch Sports Radio Network

Jason Barrett

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Univision Deportes, the multimedia sports division of Univision Communications Inc., is ready to challenge ESPN Radio’s position as the leader in Spanish language sports radio programming. The company has announced plans for a new sports radio network, “Univision Deportes Radio”, which will launch on 10 stations including Chicago’s WRTO 1200 AM, Dallas’ KFLC 1270 AM, Houston’s KLAT 1010 AM, Las Vegas’ KLSQ 870 AM, Los Angeles’ KTNQ 1020AM, McAllen’s KGBT 1530 AM, Miami’s WQBA 1140 AM, New York’s WADO 1280 AM, Phoenix’s KHOV 105.1 FM and San Antonio’s KCOR 1350 AM.

In addition to broadcast programming, Univision Deportes Radio will offer digital streams of select games and content as well as podcasts so that fans can access their favorite shows on their mobile device.

“The launch of Univision Deportes Radio marks yet another milestone in the growth and evolution of our brand across all major media platforms,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Univision Deportes. “Our fans enjoy the award-winning soccer coverage Univision Deportes regularly provides throughout the year on broadcast, cable and digital platforms. We look forward to delivering the same high-quality soccer content on radio but also to enhancing listeners’ experiences by adding an expanded all-sports approach.”

“Univision’s radio stations are among the most-listened to in the country—growing its audience by double-digits since last year,” said John Eck, Chief Local Media Officer for Univision Communications Inc. “We’re thrilled to expand our collaboration with Univision Deportes to continue to leverage the power of our Local Media to reach fanáticos like never before.”

Univision currently owns and operates 67 radio stations, including in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets, covering 75% of the U.S. Hispanic population. Univision’s radio stations consistently rank at the top of their market and in the country, regardless of language. Among Hispanics, radio is one of the top three media forms, together with TV and mobile.

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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