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105.3 The Fan, Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket In Tight Ratings Battle

“The terrestrial race between The Fan and The Ticket was tight, but if digital listening is added to the conversation, The Ticket wins the quarter.”

Brandon Contes

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Certainly impacted by the lack of sports, terrestrial listening was down for Dallas-Fort Worth area sports radio stations during the spring book. Nonetheless, 105.3 The Fan and 96.7/1310 The Ticket remained engaged in a tight competitive ratings race.

According to Nielsen Audio, both 105.3 The Fan and Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket finished in a ninth-place tie with a 3.5 share in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) for their target audience of Men 25-54. ESPN 103.3 was further back with a 1.4. The Ticket also posted strong streaming numbers for all of their weekday programs, but those shares are separate from the terrestrial radio share.

Digital listening continues to grow, and remains a bone of contention among programmers. The total number should just include over the air and digital listening, but Nielsen has kept terrestrial numbers separate for influencing ad sales and determining bonuses. Measuring digital listening has been less than perfect in a number of markets, and though some companies combine the total numbers and bonus their talent on their combined performance, it makes it tough to report the ratings that way when the company in charge of the data (Nielsen) recommends keeping the two separate.

In mornings, The Fan’s duo of Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy edged The Ticket’s iconic morning show by a tenth of a point if you solely look at the terrestrial numbers. Shan and RJ finished tied for ninth in over the air listening with a 3.1, while The Musers were one spot back, earning a 3 share. However, The Ticket enjoyed strong digital success, and if you add their 2.2 streaming performance to the conversation, they win the head to head matchup.

From 10a – 3p, The Fan was down about a point from the winter, but still finished tied for eighth with a 4.2 share, while The Ticket was tied for 13th with a 3.1 using the terrestrial radio data. Once again though, if you add The Ticket’s stream, which actually topped their terrestrial listening with a 3.9 share, it catapults their midday programming past The Fan. The Fan’s midday numbers are delivered by K&C Masterpiece who host 10am – 2pm and the first hour of The Fan’s afternoon drive show (GBag Nation) which runs from 2p – 3p. For The Ticket, Norm & Donovan air from 10a to noon, followed by BaD Radio with Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp from noon to 3pm. 

In afternoons, The Hardline with Corby Davidson and Bob Sturm finished ninth with a 4.1 from 3 – 7p, which was similar to their winter number. If you add The Hardline’s additional 3.4 share achieved thru streaming, the number is even more impressive, and gives them a stranglehold on the head to head battle.

The Fan on the other hand did a 2.8 terrestrially in the same block, although their afternoon drive show, Gavin Dawson’s GBag Nation starts an hour earlier, airing from 2p – 7p. GBag Nation dropped from a 4.8 share in the winter, clearly a sign of the pandemic impacting listening on their show and the rest of the market’s sports radio programs.

Not to be forgotten, rock station 97.1 The Eagle topped the market with a 9.1 share from 3p – 7p. The reason that’s significant is because two of those hours feature The Fan’s former afternoon drive duo, Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade who host ‘Ben & Skin’ from 2p – 5p on the DFW rock station. During their three hours on-air together, Ben and Skin are tops in the market among Men 25-54.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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