The BSM Top 20 of 2020 has arrived, and our sixth year of recognizing the best in sports radio was one that none of us will soon forget. Rocked by a pandemic, sports radio’s finest persevered to continue playing an important role in their listeners lives. Whether broadcasting from office desks and kitchen tables apart from one another or behind plexiglass dividers while wearing masks, operations were tested this year. Combine that with the world of sports shutting down in March and offering no new content for months, and it put a huge strain on all involved.
The show’s you see listed below deserve tremendous credit for finding ways to stay mentally sharp, and provide a needed daily distraction for their audiences. Before you jump ahead to see who our panel of 51 industry executives voted for, please join me in thanking Steve Stone Voiceovers for supporting the Top 20 as our exclusive sponsor. Steve is not only a tremendous voice talent but a huge supporter of sports radio. His support for this series makes it possible. I also want to acknowledge my son Dylan Barrett, who handled all of the creative for this year’s series. He spent all of January digging thru personality and brand accounts to find photos, editing them in Photoshop, and the images you’ll soon be sharing on social media or printing off to hang inside your office or studio are a reflection of his hard work.
As it pertains to the voting, here are a few things to keep in mind.
#1 – These results are based on 2020’s performance. 2021 changes have no impact on the voting. Therefore, a show like The Dan Le Batard Show, which exited ESPN Radio in January 2021 is still eligible. A show like Bart & Hahn, which joined ESPN Radio’s lineup in January isn’t eligible until next year. Our one rule since starting this series in 2016 is that a show must finish the year on the air and in the timeslot for which it’s being considered.
#2 – Our executive panel consists of program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, Emmis, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of groups in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to avoid the results heavily favoring one company. BSM President Jason Barrett does not vote, he simply presents the results.
#3 – A total of 67 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the National Sports Radio Shows category.
4 – The executive panel picked their Top 20 shows based on a few factors; the ear test, originality, ability to entertain, multi-platform excellence, market where impact is created, on-air chemistry, and ratings success. Keep in mind that voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best way we can think of to showcase how sports radio’s braintrust views the best in the format.
That now brings us to the rankings for this year’s National Sports Radio Shows. For the 5th time in 6 years, industry voters have picked ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ as the best National Sports Talk Show of 2020. Colin’s show earned the most 1st place votes (18) of any 2020 nominated show. BSM congratulates Colin, Joy Taylor, Don Martin, Scott Shapiro, Jon Goulet, Greg Toohey, and the entire FOX Sports Radio crew on earning this year’s top honor, as well as every other show which earned a spot on this year’s list.
Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 National Sports Radio Shows of 2020!”
- Colin Cowherd finished 37 points in front of The Dan Patrick Show, picking up eighteen (18) first place votes along the way. DP generated the second most first place votes with eleven (11).
- 21-25 was occupied by Spain & Fitz, Jason Smith, Moving The Chains, The First Team and The Lombardi Line.
- The closest contests saw Adam Schein edge Tiki & Tierney by 4 points, and Max Kellerman–Doug Gottlieb–KJZ separated by 3 points.
- Of the 67 shows eligible for consideration this year, 13 received at least one 1st place vote.
Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.
- Tuesday February 2 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Morning Shows
- Wednesday February 3 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Midday Shows
- Thursday February 4 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Afternoon Shows
- Friday February 5 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Program Directors
- Monday February 8 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid Market Sports Radio Stations
- Tuesday February 9 = The 2020 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts