Entercom and University of Pittsburgh Athletics announced a multi-year extension to continue their near decade-long broadcast partnership. The agreement will see 93.7 The Fan KDKA-FM remain the flagship radio station of the Pitt Panthers.
The station will carry Pitt football and men’s basketball broadcasts, while sister stations News Radio 1020 KDKA (KDKA-AM), 100.7 Star (WBZZ-FM), and Y108 (WDSY-FM) will provide additional “coverage and promotional support,” according to the press release.
“Entercom Pittsburgh has been an outstanding partner for Pitt Athletics and our new agreement reflects the exciting collaborations we will be launching this fall,” said Heather Lyke, University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics. “In addition to football and basketball game broadcasts, we are especially enthusiastic about new supplementary programing that will put a spotlight on the entire Pitt sports scene. The Panthers will receive unprecedented coverage on 93.7 The Fan as well as on Entercom’s three additional Pittsburgh stations. This partnership is a huge win for Pitt fans who will enjoy comprehensive coverage 12 months a year.”
In addition to live play-by-play, 93.7 The Fan will air a two-hour pregame and one-hour postgame show surrounding each Panther football broadcast. For men’s basketball, The Fan will broadcast an hour of coverage prior to each game, including the 30-minute Poni and Page Show, featuring 93.7’s afternoon co-host Andrew Fillipponi and former Panthers guard Julius Page.
“With Heather Lyke’s vision, the future of the Pitt Athletic Department is extremely exciting and we are thrilled to be able to bring every moment of it to alumni and fans,” said Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Pittsburgh. “Through the growth of our partnership, Panther fans will get coverage and insight year-round that they have never had before.”
Under the multi-year broadcast partnership, Entercom and Pitt will continue their weekly in-season shows featuring head football coach Pat Narduzzi and men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel III. Two new Pitt-focused radio shows will debut this fall, The Panther Insider Show, a weekly program on The Fan and The Heather Lyke Show, featuring the school’s director of athletics on News Radio 1020. 93.7 The Fan has served as the flagship affiliate for Pitt football and men’s basketball since the 2010 – 11 season.
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.