When I started the BSM Top 20 five years ago, the idea was to end it on the Monday following the Super Bowl, essentially putting a bow on the year, just like the NFL does. The explosion though of podcasting forced us to create an extra category, so we save the final two days now for the top sports radio stations, and original podcasts.
If you read any of the prior lists, then you’ve heard me praise Steve Stone Voiceovers for sponsoring this year’s series. An independent platform like ours can’t deliver the surplus of content that we do without support, and thankfully folks like Steve step up to make cool things like the BSM Top 20 possible. I also want to acknowledge my son Dylan Barrett, who handled all of the creative for this year’s Top 20 series. He dug thru hundreds, if not thousands of images, editing them in Photoshop to put together the creative layouts that you’re either sharing on social media or hanging inside your office or studio. Putting together 240 graphics each year isn’t easy, but he dove in and did a great job on it.
For today’s category, Major Market Sports Radio Stations, here are a few things to remember about the voting.
#1 – These results are based on 2020’s performance. 2021 changes have no impact on the voting. It doesn’t matter if a station added a superstar show in January or crushed it during the first month in the ratings. The sole focus is on what was produced in 2020.
#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 36 sports stations were eligible for voting consideration in the Major Market Sports Radio Stations category.
#4 – Our executive panel picked the Top 20 sports stations by taking into account ratings success, strength of lineup/talent, creative ideas, multi-platform excellence, local market impact, and brand relevance and respect. It’s important to remember that our voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and work for different companies, so certain things may be given more or less merit depending on who’s casting a vote. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we can think of to showcase sports radio’s best.
And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Major Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020. The best in the nation according to our executive panel is none other than 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. This marks the third straight year, and fourth time in five years that the Boston sports radio station has been voted #1 in this category. BSM congratulates Mary Menna, Rick Radzik, and the entire programming team on being recognized as the top brand once again, as well as all of the other stations who earned a spot on this year’s list.
Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020!”
- 98.5 The Sports Hub earned the most 1st place votes with nine (9), Sports Radio WIP was second with four (4).
- Spots 21-25 belonged to WDAE, Sports Radio 950 KJR, AM 570 LA Sports, XTRA Sports 1360 and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5.
- The tightest races saw 106.7 The Fan slip by KFAN by one (1) point, and 92.9 The Game hold off WDAE by two (2) points.
- Of the 36 sports stations eligible for voting consideration, twelve (12) received at least one (1) 1st place vote.
Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.
- Tuesday February 9 = The 2020 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts