The Houston sports radio market is crowded. It features a number of quality brands and talent, all capable of rising up and winning the quarter. For the 2021 spring book though, the story was SportsTalk 790’s return to the top.
790 was first among local sports talkers in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 2.3 share. Sports Radio 610 was next with a 2.2. ESPN 97.5 placed third with a 0.6. 97.5 did gain another .1 for HD2 listening.
The best performance for 790 this quarter came from ‘The Matt Thomas Show’, which airs weekdays from Noon to 3p CT. Thomas turned in a 3.4, the best overall format performance in the market for the book.
‘In The Trenches with ND Kalu’ which airs in middays from 10a-12p was the next best performer for 790 with a 3.0. The afternoon show, ‘The A-Team with Adam Clanton and Adam Wexler’, which airs weekdays from 3p-6p CT produced a 2.5. Sean Salisbury popped a 0.9 in mornings during the hours of 6a-10a CT. Not to be forgotten, the Houston Astros hot start to the 2021 baseball season paid dividends too, generating a 2.3 share at night.
Sports Radio 610’s best performance came in middays courtesy of ‘In The Loop’ hosted by Landry Locker and John Lopez. The 10a-2p show delivered a 2.5 for the quarter. Next best was the afternoon show featuring Clint Stoerner & Ron ‘The Show’ Hughley. They earned a 2.2 share between April-June. Last among 610’s weekday shows this book was the morning team of Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast with a 2.1.
ESPN 97.5’s top rated show this quarter was its morning show, ‘The Bench’ featuring John Granato and Lance Zierlein. The familiar local team tied with 790’s Salisbury delivering a 0.9. The station’s other three weekday shows were tied with a 0.5. All four shows also gained one tenth of point courtesy of the station’s HD2 channel.
With football season around the corner, and 97.5 needing to replace AJ Hoffman as a result of a new opportunity in Las Vegas, the market should be a fun follow in the months ahead.
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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