On May 31, Sal Licata went on Baseball Night in NY on SNY and looked directly into the camera and declared the National League East race to be “over”. Since his declaration, the Atlanta Braves have not lost. They’ve won fourteen straight and 680 The Fan’s Chuck and Chernoff wanted to speak to Licata about his prediction.
Host Matt Chernoff began the interrogation with a simple question: “What the hell were you thinking?”
Licata responded by by doubling-down on his prediction. “Let me just say this loud and clear: the NL East is over…I believe the Mets are winning the division. End of story.”
Chernoff chimed back in. “You practice that in the mirror, alot?… I feel like you’re saying that so you’ll believe it. Is that a fair analysis?”
Licata floated back in with: “that is not accurate”.
Chernoff then wanted to gauge the temperature of the fans and asked Licata how “uncomfortable” were New York Mets fans since the Braves began whittling away at the division lead.
“I think there’s a lot of people that are nervous – and I get it,” Licata began. “I get the history, I lived it, I understand 2007. I understand the Mets haven’t been good in awhile since 2015 or ’16 when they made the playoffs… they have only twice made the postseason in back-to-back seasons. In ’99 & 2000 and 2015 & ’16. But realistically, that doesn’t mean crap today.”
Chuck Oliver then followed up with Licata wondering how Mets fans responded to his comments.
“If you’ll listen to the clip (posted above) I even said, ‘I know you’re not going to want to hear this. I don’t want to hear about the jinx. I don’t care about that stuff.’ I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it. It’s the Mets turn.”
Chernoff interrupted Licata with laughter and quipped, “My nine year-old is like ‘it’s my turn’ and that’s where the Mets are, okay keep going.”
The two continued a back-and-forth including until near the end, Licata asked Chuck and Chernoff why they hate the Mets so much.
Chernoff finished his sentiment, “It’s not hate. It’s sadness. I feel bad for you.”
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.