The spring book ratings results are in for New York City, and there are two people who should especially feel good about what was produced. First, Mark Chernoff. The longtime program director for FAN recently exited the station, and in his final book, he can look back fondly and know he went out the way he started, on top.
Secondly is Spike Eskin. The new PD arrives on the scene and takes the reigns of a brand he knows is built to win. With a roster full of performers, and NY sports storylines producing drama and interest on a regular basis, listener interest should remain high going forward.
But as far as the spring book is concerned, WFAN was strong across the board in the Men 25-54 demo. The station finished 3rd overall in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 5.8 share (radio and stream combined). 98.7 ESPN NY finished the quarter in 9th with a 3.7 share. Their number always includes their radio and streaming numbers.
In the weekday head to head matchups, Boomer & Gio delivered the best performance for the quarter among any sports talk show. The WFAN morning team produced an impressive 6.9 share to finish 2nd overall in mornings. 98.7 ESPN NY was 9th from 6a-10a with a 3.6 share. The trio of Chris Canty, Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg actually performed well, picking up a 5.1 share to place 5th during the 6a-8a hours. ESPN Radio’s Keyshawn, J-Will and Zubin were in the mid 3’s though which brought down the overall number for the quarter.
Turning to middays, Maggie Gray and Marc Malusis were strong for WFAN as well. They finished 3rd for the quarter, thanks to a 5.3 share. 98.7 ESPN NY’s combo of Mike Greenberg’s two-hour national show, and Bart Scott & Alan Hahn (Hahn missed some shows due to filling in for Zubin in mornings) produced a 3.2 share, good enough for 8th place.
In the competitive and visible battle among afternoon drive heavyweights, WFAN’s team of Craig Carton and Evan Roberts reigned supreme for the spring book. Carton & Roberts finished 3rd overall with a 5.7 share. The Michael Kay Show meanwhile generated a 4.0 share for 98.7 ESPN NY, placing them 7th.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.