The spring numbers are in for Chicago. Similar to the winter book, 670 The Score led the way among local sports radio brands. The station finished 4th overall in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 4.7, and 5th 5th overall for the full week (M-SU 6a-12a) with a 4.1. Both sets of numbers represent listening among Men 25-54 and include the station’s radio and streaming numbers. All numbers to follow for The Score throughout this article will include the combined radio and streaming performance with Men 25-54.
Starting with mornings, Mully & Haugh led the station to a 7th place tie with a 3.5. The show was up two rankings and down two tenths of a share from the winter book.
In middays, Dan Bernstein and Leila Rahimi popped the best number for the quarter for The Score. Their 9a-12p program delivered a 6.1 share which elevated them to 3rd place. Their performance improved by one ranking and three tenths from the winter book. The Score’s second midday show, The Laurence Holmes Show, finished 5th with a 4.8. That was up one tenth from the winter but down two rankings.
Shifting to afternoons, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel captured another top 5 finish. The talented tandem produced a 4.9 which was a nine tenths of a point improvement from the winter book. The afternoon show also gained three ranking positions.
Closing things out at night, The Score ranked 5th between 6p-Midnight with a 3.9. Chicago Cubs baseball and Joe Ostrowski contributed to the station’s strong evening performance.
For ESPN 1000, the quarter was a bit more challenging. In weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) the station was ranked 21st with a 1.7. The full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) produced the same exact share but a lower ranking at 23rd.
In morning drive the story was more frustrating. Between the hours of 5a-9a, which features two hours of ESPN Radio’s Keyshawn, J-Will and Zubin and two hours of David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood, 1000 was tied for 27th with WGN at just under a 1 share.
The 9a-12p timeslot which includes an hour of Kaplan and Hood and two hours of Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic, the station finished 21st with a 1.5.
There was one brighter note for the station during the midday hours. From Noon to 2p, Mike Greenberg’s national show ‘Greeny’ ranked 6th with a 4.3 share, just five tenths of a point behind The Score. Greeny’s show was ESPN 1000’s top rated program for the quarter.
Turning to afternoons, Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman were off from where they usually performer. They generated a 1.5 between 2p-6p, placing them 24th for the book. Finishing up at night between the hours of 6p-Mid, the combination of Chicago White Sox baseball and Chris Bleck & Adam Abdalla earned a 2.2 share to rank 23rd.
After losing a little ground last year, The Score has settled back in. The consistency from Parkins, Holmes, Bernstein, Mully and Haugh, combined with the additions of Rahimi and Spiegel to the weekday lineup have helped the station improve. Having Cubs games back is also a big positive.
Meanwhile for 1000, a meter issue appears to be stunting the station’s growth. If a show drops a few tenths of a point or dips during specific times of the year that’s understandable, but the same hosts on 1000’s airwaves all performed in the 2019 spring book prior to the pandemic. Looking back thru a few other market ratings reports since, the station’s shows are usually in the top ten or the teen’s not the twenties. Even the first place White Sox, one of baseball’s best first half stories, didn’t get the ratings credit they deserved.
Regardless, these are the things you deal with in PPM. It’s a peaks and valley’s system. The Score right now is doing everything they have to do to serve their audience. In return, the meters are sticking with them. They deserve a tip of the cap for informing and entertaining their listeners.
For 1000, their team is far too talented to not be closer in the competition. A market like Chicago should have two thriving sports brands, and for most of the past six years, they’ve had that. If anyone can figure out how to get things back on track and make it a fun two horse race again, it’s Mike Thomas. But while he goes hunting for meters, it’s Mitch Rosen who gets to toast his team this quarter for a job well done.
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.
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.
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.