William Shatner blocking “Doomcock” on Twitter was never supposed to be a sports radio news story, but late night Fox Sports Radio host, Ben Maller was able to change that.
Doomcock is a self-proclaimed supervillain who posts Sci-Fi movie and TV reviews on his YouTube channel. A William Shatner fan, Doomcock was blocked on Twitter by the actor known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk.
When Doomcock’s followers tried to convince Shatner to unblock the supervillain, he agreed to do so if a donation of $1,000 was made to Shatner’s charity. Doomcock’s fans completed the task, getting him unblocked by the Star Trek icon, which led Shatner to bring Fox Sports Radio’s Ben Maller into the conversation.
“I tried it last year with a blocked radio show big mouth but his fans wouldn’t even donate $1.00,” Shatner tweeted after a follower said it seems like he’s creating a new way of fundraising. That “radio show big mouth” happens to be Maller. Four years ago, the national radio host was blocked by Shatner for stereotyping the Montreal native and asking his opinion on the Stanley Cup Finals.
After Maller’s fans, known as the “Maller Militia,” responded to Shatner’s tweet negatively, he publicly named who he was referring to in the “blocked radio show big mouth” tweet.
The back and forth between Captain Kirk and the Maller Militia, led to Shatner blocking a multitude of Maller’s fan base, while inadvertently following others on accident.
Still blocked by Shatner and unaware of what transpired, Maller woke up to a slew of tweets from his followers informing him Shatner was ranting on Twitter about the Fox Sports Radio host and his listeners.
Years after he was blocked by Shatner, Maller was surprised to see the Star Trek star remembered his name enough to revisit the story. “Did you ever think, Eddie, that four years later we would still be having this battle?” Maller asked update anchor, Eddie Garcia during their show.
“I am flattered, this is amazing to me!” Maller continued. “To think that for four years I have been in the mind of William Shatner, that is amazing to me, I am blown away.”
Shatner stated his interactions in recent years with the Maller Militia prevent him from wanting to go on any iHeart affiliated radio stations. In March, Shatner was interviewed by Drew McCarthy of Big Drew and Jim on ESPN 96.1 and WDFN 1130 in Detroit, both of which are iHeart owned radio stations.
Ben Maller remains Twitter-blocked by William Shatner. Maller hosts nationally on Fox Sports Radio, weekdays from 2 – 6am ET.
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.