Thu. Mar 4th, 2021

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.”

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.

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