The most talked about story in sports radio circles this week is likely to be extended another week. Entercom, Mike Francesa and CAA Sports have finalized an agreement to bring the New York sports radio icon back to afternoon drive on WFAN starting next Tuesday. Francesa’s show, “Mike’s On”, will be heard weekdays from 3p-6:30p ET. CMB will move to an earlier timeslot.
The new deal which is being promoted as a mixture of radio, digital and live events, includes the addition of a brand new mobile app which features exclusive live video streaming of Francesa’s weekday radio program on WFAN. It will also serve as the exclusive home of the “Mike’s Football Sunday” show, starting with the 2018-19 football season, and provide exclusive audio and video archival content of Francesa dating back through his storied 30-year career at WFAN. The app will be free to download in summer 2018 and offer a subscription option for fans who want to hear and view additional content. The audio stream for Francesa’s radio program on WFAN will be available on Radio.com.
“We are excited about this partnership with Mike and CAA Sports,” said Entercom President and CEO David Field. “We are proud of the terrific lineup on WFAN and are looking forward to bringing Mike back into the mix in this new, multiplatform and innovative way.”
“After exploring several options, this partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom was the perfect fit,” said Francesa. “This partnership allows me the chance to return to WFAN and all of our loyal listeners, as well as significant opportunities, including the app and live events, that are completely new. I look forward to working with both companies on making this a very successful venture.”
WFAN and Francesa have also agreed to join forces for a series of live events across formats and venues, including live broadcasts, one-on-one interviews and a speaker series. More information can be found on www.mikesonnetwork.com.
“From the very beginning of our relationship with Mike, we fielded a tremendous number of offers for him across an array of business areas,” said Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports. “As we got to know Mike, we believed that the best opportunity would capitalize on his entrepreneurial spirit, and build upon the appetite of his multi-generational fan base. Our partnership with Entercom enables Mike to interact with fans across multiple platforms, including digital and live events, bringing him closer to his audience than ever before.”
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.
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.
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.