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NBA Legends Take To ESPN Radio To Call Out Ben Simmons

Simmons finished Game 7 with the worst free throw percentage in NBA Playoff history.

Russ Heltman

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“The Process is dead.”

That’s the prevailing sentiment following the Philadelphia 76ers’ flame out in the second round of the NBA Playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks. The number one seed in the Eastern Conference fell flat on their faces in a 103-96 Game 7 loss. Some apologists blame Joel Embiid’s injury, but the All-NBA player gave it his all on a banged-up knee.

The same cannot be said for Ben Simmons, who was an offensive liability throughout the series. NBA legends Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson appeared on ESPN Radio to try and explain what went wrong with the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

“Number one, I feel sad,” Barkley said on Greeny. “You don’t wanna see anybody just meltdown publicly like that. When you play sports, you are naked for the world, and you just felt bad for the kid [Simmons]. He’s a great kid, but clearly, he’s got some mental issues going on when it comes to free throws, shooting the ball things like that.”

Ben Simmons didn’t offer much of anything as a shooter the Sixers. He finished the 2021 Playoffs with the lowest free throw percentage in NBA Playoff history (34.2%) and did not attempt a shot in the fourth quarter of Games 4 through 7.

Barkley went on to say that the Sixers brain trust needs to straight-up ask Ben Simmons if he’s going to work on his game because this version of him isn’t very appealing for them or in a trade. Johnson has already written off the idea of Simmons staying in Philly, saying on KJZ that he “can’t recover from this” in the Sixers locker room.

“It’s time for a change,” Johnson said on the show. “The locker room won’t recover from it. When they went to the Hack-A-Shaq, basically Hack-A-Simmons, that just killed them.”

Johnson continued and drove home the point that the Sixers lost the series after they collapsed up 26 points in Game 5. Whether it was Game 5 or Game 7 as the tipping point, the Sixers are exiting another season with more questions than answers surrounding The Process.

Sports Radio News

SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

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 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, All 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 its 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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