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.
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.