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Portland, Seattle & Milwaukee’s Spring Ratings Highlights

Brandon Contes

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Sports radio listenership in the spring book was surely impacted by COVID-19 as sporting events were scarce and less people were on the road with daily commutes. Complete data for all shows was not available, but sports radio brands in Portland, Seattle and Milwaukee worked hard to combat the effects of a global pandemic. 

Portland’s 102.9/750 The Game was less impacted by the lack of sports, producing a similar year-over-year number in weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p) earning a 3.4 share for their target demo of men 25-54. The Game topped the more localized 1080 The Fan, which did a 2.2 share. 

The Game’s strongest performance came from The Dan Patrick Show, which airs 6 – 9a and generated a 6.2 share. The DP Show was down almost three points year-over-year in Portland, but still topped 1080’s Dusty and Cam in the Morning which earned less than a 1 share. 

From 9a – noon, The Game’s simulcast of Jim Rome earned a 3.9, beating 1080’s offering of Colin Cowherd which generated a 1 share. During the noon – 3p block, The Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano turned in a similar year-over-year performance for The Game with a 3.4 share. 1080’s early afternoon show hosted by Andy Johnson and Brandon Sprague was less than a point behind with a 2.6. Data for afternoon drive wasn’t available.

Turning to Seattle, in weekday prime, 710 ESPN Seattle topped Sports Radio 950 KJR, but the pandemic caused the station to fall from 6th to 19th in the spring book which extended from March 27 – June 17. 

In morning drive, 710’s Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant completed their second full book as co-hosts, topping KJR’s Chuck and Buck in the Morning. From noon – 3p, 710 ESPN’s midday show hosted by Tom Wassell, Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost also finished ahead of KJR. Rounding out the weekday lineup, KJR’s afternoon show with Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler and Dick Fain edged out 710’s trio of Bob Stelton, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore.

In Milwaukee, 97.3 The Game topped their sports radio competition for the full week (Mon-Sun 6a-mid). The Game earned a 1.6 share in the spring book, while 94.5 ESPN and 105.7 The Fan each did a 1.2. None of the three sports radio stations missed out on local NBA or MLB play-by-play, as news station WTMJ is the rightsholder for the Bucks, Brewers and Packers. 

Dual market host Steve Czaban finished 10th in morning drive for The Game, from 6 – 9a. Czaban’s spring book was down from his seventh-place finish in the winter quarter. Full market data wasn’t available for all shows.

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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