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FOX Sports Radio Adds 103.5 the Game To Get To 600 Affiliates

The addition comes just in time for the NCAA Tournament as KGA 103.5 FM/1510 AM is the radio flagship of the Gonzaga Bulldogs who are undefeated and ranked #1 in this year’s tournament.

Kate Constable

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With the addition of Spokane’s KGA 103.5 FM/1510 AM, FOX Sports Radio (FSR) announced on Thursday that the network has reached the 600 affiliate mark for the first time in history.

The addition comes just in time for the NCAA Tournament. KGA 103.5 FM/1510 AM is the radio flagship of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are undefeated and ranked #1 in this year’s tournament.

As noted in the release, KGA 103.5 FM/1510 AM will air FOX Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup, including The Herd with Colin Cowherd, The Dan Patrick Show, Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis, The Doug Gottlieb Show, The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker, Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell, The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon and The Ben Maller Show. “FOX Sports Radio 103.5 The Game” will debut tomorrow, March 19, at 6 a.m. with The Dan Patrick Show.

“As the flagship station for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, we are thrilled to add the wall-to-wall sports coverage provided by FOX Sports Radio,” said Kent Jones, Operations Manager of Stephens Media Group Spokane, Wash. “This is an exciting time for Gonzaga and Spokane. FOX Sports Radio’s amazing lineup of talent with their coverage of the tournament and everything sports allows us to provide the best sports programming for Spokane, both now and throughout the year.”

FSR celebrated its 20th anniversary in August 2020 and in the last few months has hit a number of milestones on the digital front. According to FSR, the network experienced double and triple-digit gains across multiple platforms in January and February 2021 with total podcast listens for the FOX Sports Radio Podcast Network growing +66% year-over-year in February, and unique visits to FOXSportsRadio.com increasing by +180% year-over-year. January also marked FSR’s best streaming month in history with +33% year-over-year growth. 

“As FOX Sports Radio continues to experience record-setting growth across multiple platforms, we’re excited to partner with the radio home of the #1 team in college basketball,” said Don Martin, Senior Vice President of Sports Programming for Premiere Networks and Scott Shapiro, Vice President of Programming for FOX Sports Radio, in a joint statement. “There couldn’t be a better time to collaborate and grow together, while celebrating this historic milestone. We’re proud of the entire FOX Sports Radio team who made this possible, and we appreciate the incredible support of all our partners.”

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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