Sports radio listening in Denver has been down compared to last year. Which is odd when you consider a few factors. First, we were in a pandemic last spring operating without sports. Secondly, the Nuggets just turned in a strong season, advancing to the second round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs led by league MVP Nikola Jokic, the Colorado Avalanche played into the 2nd round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Colorado Rockies returned to the diamond (the MLB All-Star game was just held here too but that’s for the next book), and interest in the Broncos remains a year-long obsession. You’d think the Nielsen gods would be shining brighter on the city in 2021 vs. 2020, but such is life in a PPM world.
Despite shares being down from where they’ve been previously, the quarter still produced a number of positives. For 104.3 The Fan, the station finished 5th with Men 25-54 in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 4.9 share. KOA, which features a mix of sports and news was 19th in prime with a 2.1 share. Altitude Sports Radio was 24th with a 1.6.
In mornings, Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans ranked 1st with a 6.8 share for The Fan. They outperformed the radio station’s overall number. The station’s midday team of “Orlando and Sandy” were 9th with a 3.5, the second midday show featuring Brandon Stokley and Zach Bye performed better with a 4.6 share, good enough to secure 7th place. Afternoons saw “The Drive with Tyler Polumbus and DMac” finish 8th with a 4.4 share, and during the evening hours, “Nick and Cecil” were 23rd with a 1.2 while “The Fan Late Night with Shawn Drotar” was 16th with an 0.8.
For KOA, their weekday prime sports programs were in the same neighborhood as far as share and ranking positions are concerned. “Logan and Lewis” were 25th with a 1.2 during their midday slot, “Big Al and Jojo” finished 24th with a 1.3 share during the afternoon. The station’s best sports talk ratings performance for the quarter came in evenings. The combination of Colorado Rockies baseball and “Broncos Country Tonight with Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright” ranked 20th with a 1.8 share.
Meanwhile, Altitude Sports Radio enjoyed two great stories this quarter. First, the station beat The Fan and KOA at night (M-F 7p-12a), finishing 9th with a 3.0 share. Altitude also got a nice boost from the afternoon team of Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl. The PM drive program produced a 2.3 share to finish the book in 16th place. Similar to ‘Schlereth and Evans’, ‘Nate and Andy’ outperformed their radio station’s overall prime number. “Mornings with Moser, Lombardi, and Kane came in 25th with a 1.1 share during 7a-10a, and middays (10a-2p) with “Harris, Hastings and Dover” finished 28th with a 1.0.
What’s been interesting to follow so far is how the brands have performed between the 2021 winter and spring books.
For 104.3 The Fan, their weekday prime, morning show, afternoon show, and one midday show were all lower quarter to quarter. Stokley and Zach bucked that trend picking up one tenth. The positive for The Fan, they were playing with higher numbers than the others so they could afford some slippage. With football season around the corner, and the station typically strong in the summer and winter books, they’ll be counting on ears returning to the dial to lift them back up.
For KOA, their daytime sports talk shows remain relatively unchanged from the winter book. Evenings though gained ground, which is expected when live baseball play by play returns to the dial. If the Broncos turn in a good season and the station can carry over some of that cume to its weekday shows, it could help add a few positives for the final two books of the year.
Wrapping up with Altitude, they’ve got a few stories to feel good about. Kreckman and Lindahl added 1.5 shares from winter to spring. Moser, Lombardi and Kane picked up three tenths, middays tacked on one tenth, and nights held steady with the same share and ranking leading the market. Prime grew too by seven tenths of a point. The challenge, the evening number will likely dip during the summer due to no Nuggets and Avalanche games. If the station’s shows can lure some ears during football season and add back Avs and Nuggets fans when each team’s season starts, they could continue growing.
Mad Dog Launches Digging Up The Past Podcast
This season of Russo’s podcast focuses on great MLB teams that fell short.
Few people in sports media love Major League Baseball like Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, and that love just got a new avenue for expression from Sirius XM. Russo is hosting a 10-part podcast series with the company that dives into what he believes are the ten best major league teams that didn’t win the World Series.
Digging Up The Past launches a new season with full deep dive episodes for every one of these teams, starting with the 1954 Cleveland Indians, which is available now. Russo and specific guests discuss the magic those teams created throughout the season and what ultimately felled their chances of lifting the Commissioner’s Trophy when it was all said and done.
“Hear Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo for another season of his Sirius XM podcast, Digging Up The Past,” The show trailer states. “Join Christopher for a journey through baseball’s decorated history, for an examination of the best single-season teams that failed to capture postseason glory.”
The show is scheduled to debut episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the coming weeks as the baseball season ramps up for the October playoff push.
“Throughout the decades, Major League Baseball has produced several great teams that fell short of winning the World Series for numerous reasons,” The trailer continued. “Some were taken down by improbable heroes, or hall of fame talent. While others suffered the indignity of bizarre occurrences and self-inflicted wounds. Join Christopher as he tells the tales of these gut-wrenching collapses and heartbreaking losses in a way that only he can.”
The other nine teams slated to be on the show are as follows: 2001 Mariners, 1969 Cubs, 1991 Pirates, 1965 Twins, 1995 Indians, 1978 Red Sox, 1994 Expos, 1977 Royals, and the 1993 Giants. Every one of these tales is available for listening over the coming months on most major podcast platforms.
Study: Easier To Reach Sports Bettors Through Radio Than TV
The study was conducted in Michigan this past winter and then expanded nationwide in the spring.
Westwood One and Cumulus Media have crunched the numbers on reaching sports bettors and found some interesting data.
The company discovered that sports bettors are more reachable through AM/FM radio advertising than television advertising. The study began in Michigan this past February and expanded into all 12 fully legal gambling states in April.
Westwood One commissioned the study from MARU/Matchbox, which surveyed 718 adults over 21 years old in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The study discovered that 71% of adults 21+ are aware sports betting is legal in their state. When the surveyors asked study participants how likely they are to place a legal wager, 23% of adults 21+ said they are very or somewhat interested in online sports betting.
The numbers tailed off the older the participants got. Around half of the adults, 21-34, say they would be interested. Interest drops to 30% amongst adults 35-54. For people 55 and older, there isn’t much interest in online sports betting.
When looking at gender specifically, twice as many men (32%) versus women (15%) say they would be interested in online sports betting.
Advertising is paying off for the brands willing to go all in, namely DraftKings and Fanduel, who have strong brand recognition in this study. Participants selected any sports betting websites they have heard advertising from in the prior month, and those brands dominated.
Among participants, 36% recognized DraftKings, and 32% recognized Fanduel. The next closest brand was BetMGM at 15%, followed by Bet Rivers and William Hill at 8% and 6%.
Every small study can be taken with a grain of salt, but these numbers show that the best way to reach sports bettors is through radio advertising. In a time where money is pouring in left and right from sports gambling, this is welcome data for station managers across the country.
Dan Patrick Appreciates Radio Success More Than ESPN Tenure
“I just kept thinking let me look at what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. I really missed an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy it.”
If you watched ESPN from 1990 to about 2007, Dan Patrick’s face is one you most likely saw often on an 11 PM ET edition of SportsCenter. While it seemed like Dan Patrick was having fun hosting SportsCenter with Keith Olbermann, that wasn’t always the case.
Patrick was the guest on a recent episode of The Ryen Russillo Podcast and talked about many different topics. When Russillo asked Patrick what he would consider the best work he has ever done, Patrick had a tough time answering the question and he was more focused on mistakes than the great work he was doing.
“Even when Olberman and I were doing SportsCenter and we were at the top of our game, I just kept thinking let me look at what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. I really missed an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy it,” he said.
Although Olberman and Patrick were the faces of ESPN during the early and mid 90s, the SportsCenter legend said there was a time when he thought they would be fired.
“We were dressed down one time and it was really bad because management, I think, thought we were full of ourselves and we might have been. I thought I was going to get fired. To think I had just won a Sports Emmy, I was feeling pretty good. There was talk that Keith and I would host SNL. We’re thinking they got to love us, they didn’t. They worried we were going to be out of control. I think that led to the breaking point with Keith. I tell people Keith is the best teammate you could ever ask for.”
Dan Patrick is more proud of the success he has now with his radio show compared to when he was on SportsCenter. He says that is largely because of how the show was built from the ground up.
“I had guys who I had worked with at ESPN and I asked them to take a leap of faith. We had 12 radio affiliates. I didn’t have any TV partner. I had nothing. We were doing the show in my attic and those guys gave up their jobs at ESPN and they joined me. I didn’t know what I had, but I knew what we could be.”
DP reflected on the growth of the show. He told Russillo that he feels lucky that there was immediate interest from a major market. That emboldened him to make bigger moves that turned the show into the go-to model for radio/TV simulcasts.
“I truly believe if I don’t get on KLAC in Los Angeles, I don’t know if we are anywhere near the success that we are. That helped save me. We were going bankrupt and I told Paulie, my producer, “dude, we’re in trouble”.
“I couldn’t let these guys down. I walked out to the parking lot and I cold-called DirecTV and I called Chris Long (former programming director). I don’t know why I called DirecTV. I just thought they carry sports, but they don’t have any name attached to it. To do that and build this to where it is today, we did that on our own.”
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