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Texas Governor Talks Football With Clay Travis

“Overall, Abbott conveyed a more cautious tone about the return of football than Travis’ previous guests.”

Jacob Conley

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As of late, Clay Travis’ Outkick The Coverage program on Fox Sports Radio, has sounded more like something you might see on the Fox News television network. That’s because, in recent days, Travis has interviewed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump.

The parade of politicians continued on Thursday morning when Travis spoke with Texas’ Republican governor Greg Abbott. The pair discussed a variety of topics in the nearly 30 minute segment, but the main focus was football, both college and prep, in the Lone Star State. 

Overall, Abbott conveyed a more cautious tone about the return of football than Travis’ previous guests, including the possibility of playing games with no fans in attendance.

“While the financial aspect has to be considered, the top priority is the health and safety of the players,” he said. “We saw what can happen when you have large gatherings, so the attendance might not be as robust. We may not have any fans at all. I’ve talked to the players, and while they like having fans there, the most important thing for them is playing the game. It’s like the NBA or the MLB, once that tip or first pitch happens, they all play for the love of the game… The key word is flexibility. While I think we can determine now that it is safe to play games, we will have to wait and see how many fans can be in the stands.”

Abbott says that he and many Texans underestimated COVID and he does not want to repeat those mistakes. 

“The Corona Virus is not going to wane,” Abbott said. “It is not getting weaker. It can still be transmitted and its life span is still the same. But what has happened in Texas is, we have a better understanding of it and better control. We saw a spike in Texas in early June because we thought we had COVID defeated and let our guard down. We did not.  Now we have gotten a better grip on things and the numbers have started to trend downward again.”

Along with college football, Abbott addresses the state of high school football.

 “High school football is not a sport. It’s a religion in Texas. We are the home of Friday Night Lights,” Abbott continued. “As we began summer workouts for high school football, we had players transmitting COVID-19, players testing positive, so some areas of the state have decided not to have a season. Some are planning modified schedules, others are planning full schedules. That’s something we have to grapple with, but we also know that football, and all sports, are vital to the well-being of the student.”

As for college football, Texas is home to five Power 5 programs throughout the Big XII and SEC. Both conferences have decided to play football this fall. Abbott applauds the decision.

“Listen, I’ve talked to all kinds of university administrators, from presidents to athletic directors to coaches,” Abbott said. “But the most important group I have spoken with are the student-athletes themselves. They want to play. They have the option not to but 99 percent want to play, and most importantly, they feel safe with the protocols   that are in place. If the student-athlete feels safe, they should be allowed to play.”

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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