Classic rock radio ruled the airwaves during the summer, but both primary sports radio stations in the Boston market also fared well as usual in the Nielsen Audio ratings.
CBS Radio’s 98.5 The Sports Hub finished third and Entercom’s WEEI (93.7) was fifth in the men 25-54 demographic for the three-month summer period of June 19-September 10.
Rock station WZLX, owned by CBS Radio, was first (8.4), while WAAF, which like WEEI is owned by Entercom, was second (6.5).
It’s the ninth straight three-month period that the Sports Hub has been the top-rated sports station in the market. The Sports Hub had a 6.2 share, while WEEI had a 5.4.
But WEEI did end another notable streak with a victory in morning drive. The Dennis and Callahan program, which also includes Kirk Minihane, finished second in the 6-10 a.m. window with an 8.3 share, edging the Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich program (third, 8.2).
T&R had been the highest-rated sports show in the mornings for eight straight three-month periods.
Broken down by month, Dennis and Callahan won July and August while Toucher and Rich took September. Last summer, T&R had a 10.8 share while D&C was at 7.2.
D&C saw progress in the ratings even before the buzz generated by Minihane’s controversial comments about Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews, which registered in the August ratings.
T&R co-host Rich Shertenlieb returned in September after missing more than four weeks while his wife received cancer treatment.
In other day parts:
For midday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), the Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zo — hosted by Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak — finished third (5.7) while WEEI’s Middays With MFB, featuring Lou Merloni, Christian Fauria, and Tim Benz, was seventh (4.4).
In afternoon drive (2-6 p.m.), the Sports Hub’s Felger and Massarotti show was first for the ninth straight ratings period with an 8.8 share. WEEI’s Dale and Holley program was fourth (5.6).
From 6-7 p.m., The Sports Hub’s “Baseball Reporters” program hosted by Tony Massarotti was first with an 8.6 share. In the same window, WEEI was tied for fifth (5.2).
In the 6 p.m.-midnight period, The Sports Hub and WEEI tied for fifth with a 5.0. That includes the Baseball Reporters and the Adam Jones Show on the Sports Hub and Red Sox pregame and game broadcasts as well as the Planet Mikey Show on WEEI.
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.