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Sports Radio Thrives In The Summer Book

Jason Barrett

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How did sports radio stations perform during the month of September or for the summer book? Below are a few details from a number of top markets. Stations are always invited to be included in this quarterly column and help tell their story and reinforce the power of the sports talk radio format. To have your brand represented in the future please reach out via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Los Angeles:

The shares may not be high in the city of Angels but growth has been a positive for ESPN LA 710 AM. For the summer book, the radio station finished ahead of local competitor AM 570 LA Sports in all M-F 6a-7p head to head battles. 570 did gain an advantage during evenings thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Leading the way for 710 was the popular midday team Mason & Ireland with just under a 4 share. Equally as encouraging for 710 was an increase of a full point or better for all of the station’s key weekday shows year over year. 570 received its best ratings in midday thanks to a solid performance from Colin Cowherd.

Chicago:

The competition is always fierce in the windy city between 670 The Score and ESPN 1000 and the summer book was no exception. This quarter belonged to The Score as the station placed 3rd overall M-SU 6a-Mid with just under a 5 share. 1000 finished 15th for the full week with slightly over a 3 share. Given the power of the Cubs though, that’s not a big surprise. Once again 670 led the way in mornings, with Mully and Hanley nearly doubling Mike and Mike. M&H were 3rd with just under a 6 share. M&M produced a 3 share. In middays, The Score’s team of Parkins and Spiegel got some great news, finishing seven tenths of a point ahead of David Kaplan and the first hour of Carmen and Jurko‘s show (670 and 1000 schedule their shows differently). The Score was 6th between 9a-1p. ESPN 1000 was 9th. Where ESPN 1000 received its biggest win was in PM drive between 2p-6p. Waddle and Silvy finished tied for 1st with just over a 5 share. The Score’s team of Bernsein and Goff were three tenths of a point behind in 4th. One item to point out, Bernstein and Goff’s show is an hour longer though than Waddle and Silvy’s so if you measure their entire 1p-6p program the news is slightly different, the two stations are even during those hours at just under a 5 share. Nonetheless, Waddle and Silvy have been rolling in 2017.

San Francisco:

The Giants and Athletics weren’t chasing world series trophies, and the Raiders, 49ers, Warriors and Sharks weren’t involved in regular season action yet, but that didn’t stop KNBR 680 from turning in a strong September book. Summer book totals weren’t yet made available. For the overall month, KNBR led all head to head weekday show comparisons against 95.7 The Game. The station was 2nd M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid among Men 25-54, led by a 1st place finish from Gary and Larry in middays. The station also got a 2nd place performance from Fitz and Brooks, a 3rd place ranking in afternoon drive with Tom Tolbert and John Lund and a 6th place showing in mornings from Murph and Mac. 95.7 The Game received its best performance M-F 10a-1p and saw a slight uptick year to year for its morning show numbers.

Philadelphia:

Last year Sports Radio WIP took a few lumps for its ratings lagging behind where they normally were, but the tide has begun to turn in 2017. For the summer book, WIP advanced into the Top 3 among Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid, up from 7th one year earlier. Leading the charge was Angelo Cataldi, who turned in a Top 3 performance in mornings with a low 7 share. The midday team of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie finished 4th with a mid 6 share, up year to year from 10th and a high 3 share. Rounding things out in afternoons were the team of Chris Carlin and Ike Reese, who registered a Top 5 finish with just under a 5 share, up nearly a point and 4 positions year to year. The one area where 97.5 The Fanatic remained ahead and in strong shape was in PM drive thanks to Mike Missanelli.

Washington DC:

History was made in the nation’s capital and this time it had zero to do with politics. 106.7 The Fan saw its morning show, The Sports Junkies, register a 1st place finish in AM drive for the summer book beating the nation’s dominant news talk brand WTOP. The market victory was a first for the Junkies. Making the feat even more spectacular was that the show produced a low 10 share to earn the win among Men 25-54. That number was strong enough to place the show 2nd with Adults 25-54 too. The Fan also received positives news in middays and afternoons, with Grant and Danny and Chad Dukes each placing 3rd for the summer book. G&D were #1 overall for the month of September, and Dukes was 2nd in afternoon drive. The Fan finished 2nd overall M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54.

Boston:

The summer book produced positive stories for both local sports radio brands but momentum appears to have shifted in the direction of WEEI. The quarter saw WEEI edge 98.5 The Sports Hub by three tenths of a point for 1st overall M-SU 6a-Mid. The two stations were tied for 1st M-F 6a-7p with each delivering slightly above a 10 share. In the head to head matchups, Kirk and Callahan won morning drive again by finishing 1st with just under a 14 share. The Hub’s Toucher and Rich were also in double digits with just above a 10 and a half. K&C also finished 1st for the quarter with Adults 25-54 and Men 18+ and 35-64. In middays, Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria finished 2nd, nipping The Hub’s Zo and Bertrand by four tenths of a point with Men 25-54. OMF were just above a 9 share. The Hub remained in control in afternoons with Felger and Massarotti taking top honors among Men 25-54 with a little better than an 11 share. WEEI’s Dale, Holley and Keefe continued to increase their share and finished 2nd. The Hub also won evenings from 6p-10p by three tenths of a point. One stark difference between the two brands is how their streaming performances factor into their monthly and quarterly numbers. Entercom, which owns and operates WEEI subscribes to Total Line Reporting which includes over the air and streaming listening. CBS Radio, which owns and operates The Sports Hub, lists them separately.

Seattle:

Summer listening wasn’t as hot as it normally is, but in September the audience was back and clamoring for more. The beneficiary of the interest was 710 ESPN Seattle which had 3 shows finish the month in the Top 10, led by Danny, Dave and Moore and Bob, Groz and Tom each placing in the Top 6 in their respective dayparts. With football season now in full swing, and the Seahawks making noise on and off the field, listening should continue to increase, helping the market end the 2017 campaign on a high note.

Denver:

The summer book provided another powerful story for 104.3 The Fan. Denver’s leading sports radio brand finished 1st overall among Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with just under an 8 share. Making the news more remarkable was that the brand grew from a low 5 share in July to a high 10 share in September (think football might create a little interest?). The biggest benefactor was the morning team of Mike Evans and Mark Schlereth. The duo increased their share from the mid 8’s in July to the high 13’s in September. The morning show has finished 1st overall every single month in 2017 except July (finished 2nd) and has increased their overall double digit share year to year by three full points.

St. Louis:

101 ESPN continues to dominate the marketplace, pulling in another Top 3 finish among Men 25-54 with just under a 10 share. Leading the way once again was the station’s afternoon show, The Fast Lane, which finished the quarter 1st overall with a mid 11 share, highlighted by a mid 12 performance in September. The drive time program has been rated 1st overall every month this year. 101’s remaining weekday shows hosted by Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler and the team of Anthony Stalter and Chris Duncan finished between 2nd and 4th in their respective dayparts.

Additional Market Notes:

97.1 The Ticket in Detroit turned in another big ratings book. The radio station was #1 overall with Men 25-54

In Dallas, Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket was #1 with Men 25-54. 105.3 The Fan also performed well coming in 3rd.

The Charlotte sports radio scene once again was led by WFNZ which received a strong midday performance.

And to wrap things up, KFAN in Minneapolis continued to cruise, finishing in the Top 5 among Adults 6+, 18-49 and 25-54. The station finished #1 overall with Men 25-54.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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