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ESPN Radio Sees Major Gains In Live Sports Audience

“According to ESPN, a recent study by Nielsen shows 22.3 million listeners tuned into live sporting events on terrestrial ESPN radio during a less than five-month span.”

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As consumer’s listening habits continue to modernize, terrestrial radio and live sporting events remain a large draw.  

How much play-by-play and what live sporting events should be carried are decisions that are often debated by radio stations.  According to ESPN, a recent study by Nielsen shows 22.3 million listeners tuned into live sporting events on terrestrial ESPN radio during a less than five-month span.

“ESPN Radio’s live events are at the core of what makes it so valuable to our advertisers,” said John Fitzgerald, ESPN vice president, multimedia sales. “This study has shown that once again our unparalleled lineup of marquee matchups continues to grow our audience nationally and increase the reach of ESPN Radio.”

From August 30, 2018 to January 17, 2019, 22.3 million fans, which represent 9.2% of the American population (P12+) consumed live sports on ESPN’s terrestrial radio airwaves.  Included in those live sporting events are College Football, MLB, NBA and the NFL.  

The results also showed the total audience built significantly week to week as the schedules progressed.  Major events such as the College Football Playoff and Major League Baseball’s World Series occurred during the sampled time period.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Dan Patrick: ‘I Want Buccaneer Tom, Not Patriot Tom On Fox’

“‘Buccaneer Tom’ is ‘Vacation Tom.’ That guy’s having a good time.”

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A lot of people have compared the deal FOX signed with Tom Brady to the one NBC signed with Drew Brees before the former Saints quarterback finished his playing days. FOX is set to pay Brady $375 million for his services. That means the network better be right about their faith in the quarterback.

Drew Brees faced a lot of criticism this year. Some have speculated that the reason he is not joining Mike Tirico in the Sunday Night Football booth this season is that he is too boring to be the network’s league analyst.

Dan Patrick says he has a similar concern about Tom Brady. Landing the greatest quarterback of all time is a win for FOX, but we have seen two very different Tom Bradys in his career. If the wrong one shows up, Patrick says this investment could be a disaster for FOX.

“I worry sometimes that if we get ‘Patriot Tom’ instead of ‘Buccaneer Tom,’” Dan Patrick said on his Wednesday show. “‘Buccaneer Tom’ is ‘Vacation Tom.’ That guy’s having a good time. ‘Two-Drink Tommy;’ that I like. But if he does the Patriot Way, that’s not going to be good.”

As he has gotten older, Tom Brady has been more willing to show off his personality. Most famously, he cut loose at the boat parade celebrating the Tampa’s Super Bowl title in 2021.

Dan Patrick wondered if Tom Brady would be aware of the standard for succes in broadcasting. Would he know that entertainment matters? He pointed out that Brady’s social media accounts tend to be pretty funny, but they are likely either manned or at least aided by staff writers.

“Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you can tell us how to do it, and I think that is gonna be the interesting part,” Patrick said.

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Travis Rodgers: ‘Celebrities At SoFi Stadium Make Rams A Better Primetime Fit For NFL’

“You go to a game and it’s, ‘Wow, there’s LeBron; there’s DiCaprio; there’s this.’ Damn, what more can you ask for from this franchise?”

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Tuesday on 710 ESPN Radio Los Angeles, Travis and Sliwa discussed how the NFL is consistently able to fabricate non-game events into must-follow action, generating ratings and revenue during the nearly seven-month long offseason. The special promoting the release of the full 2022 season schedule is on Thusday night is a good example..

“I’m sure we’re going to be 10 weeks into the NFL season [and say], ‘Man, that team didn’t turn out the way we thought it would,’ [or] ‘Oh, that team is better than we thought it’s going to be,’” said show co-host Allen Sliwa. “That’s what kind of makes this part of the year sort of exciting – that you start finding out what the matchups are.”

Nonetheless, the NFL has been able to captivate fans through making a spectacle of offseason events. This includes the impending primetime television schedule release special by the league, rather than simply divulging the week-by-week matchups with minimal grandeur and melodrama.

“They’re so good at turning things that aren’t games into things,” said show co-host Travis Rodgers. “The draft is a huge thing; the combine is a thing; the schedule release is a thing; free agency is a thing; training camps are a thing.”

While the NFL schedule may not yet be fully released, some primetime matchups have been announced in advance, potentially to pique the interest of fans, media partners and the players themselves. It is safe to say that the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams will receive much of the primetime action across the NFL’s remodeled slate of broadcasts during the 2022 season. In fact, it was recently announced that the Rams will be playing on Christmas Day against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos on a game simulcast on CBS and Paramount+, along with the inclusion of a special viewing presentation on Nickelodeon sure to include the network’s signature slime.

Aside from the team’s success on the field though, there exist other reasons why the current moment is an opportune time to schedule the Rams to play games in primetime.

“I’m telling you – the Rams are really good,” said Rodgers. “They play in a place that’s got great visuals. There’s going to be celebrities in the stands. A brand new stadium. Everybody likes coming to L.A. This is the place you’re going to have people come over and over.”

It was not always guaranteed that the NFL would be willing to return to the City of Angels, and if the league would be welcomed back. Yet since the construction of the $5.5 billion-SoFi Stadium complete with NFL Network studios within new league headquarters combined with the early success of both the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, the reincarnation of football in southern California has been largely prosperous thus far.

“It’s almost like icing on the cake,” said Sliwa. “The NFL is the NFL either way. But the brand the Rams have created over a short period of time, and… the visuals. You go to a game and it’s, ‘Wow, there’s LeBron; there’s DiCaprio; there’s this.’ Damn, what more can you ask for from this franchise?”

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Tom Millikan Upped To APD of 97.1 The Ticket

“Listeners might not agree with my opinions or show content all of the time, but I genuinely try to produce shows that Detroit sports fans want every single day.”

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Detroit

Congratulations are in order for Tom Millikan. The executive producer of The Morning Show with Stoney and Jansen has been promoted to assistant program director of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit.

“Tom has done an outstanding job as an executive producer and has played a vital role in the success of the station,” said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Detroit. “He is very deserving of this promotion and we look forward to even greater success with Tom in his new role.”

Millikan has been a steady presence in Detroit sports talk since 1998. He has been with The Ticket since 2012. In that time, he has served as an affiliate relations manager for coverage of the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Red Wings and Pistons. He has also been involved with Michigan Wolverines broadcasts on sister station WWJ AM.

“Throughout my twenty plus years in radio, I’ve been blessed with countless memories of championships and pure joy,” said Millikan. “I’m living out a dream. I wanted to work in sports radio since the format exploded in the early 90s and I’ve been blessed by the tutelage of all of my co-workers and peers. I was born and raised in Detroit and Detroit sports are part of my DNA. Listeners might not agree with my opinions or show content all of the time, but I genuinely try to produce shows that Detroit sports fans want every single day.”

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