HBO Sports announced on Wednesday that it has extended its contracts with broadcasters Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman in “new multi-year deals.”
Lampley, the legendary blow-by-blow announcer on its boxing coverage, and Kellerman, the main analyst, will continue in their roles, HBO senior vice president and executive producer Rick Bernstein said.
“For more than two decades, Jim has been the signature voice of HBO boxing,” Bernstein said. “Jim’s incomparable knowledge of the sport of boxing and his work on our many boxing programming initiatives, along with his own boxing studio program, have made him universally recognized as the best in the sport and the captain of our boxing coverage. We’re thrilled Jim will continue to bring his high journalistic standards and talents to the HBO audience for many years to come.”
Lampley, who has been calling fights for HBO since 1988 after previously calling fights for ABC, will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on June 14.
“I am delighted and grateful for the chance to continue my richly rewarding relationship with the No. 1 network in television,” Lampley said. “In sports as in entertainment, HBO presents the greatest of all opportunities to report complex truth, and there are no sports truths more profound and complex than those illuminated by boxing.”
Kellerman has been with HBO Sports since 2005, after previously having been a studio co-host on ESPN2′s “Friday Night Fights.”
“Max has been an invaluable asset to the HBO Boxing franchise since joining us ten years ago,” Bernstein said. “His passion, instincts and historical knowledge all play a key role in making our broadcasts impactful.”
“The privilege of calling the best fights in the sport is second only to working alongside all of the extraordinary people in the HBO family,” Kellerman said.
The new season of Lampley’s “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” kicks off March 17 (HBO, 11 p.m. ET/PT). Joining Lampley will once again be Kellerman and Michelle Beadle to discuss boxing’s biggest news stories and personalities. There were eight episodes in 2014 and the plan is for the same number this year.
Credit to ESPN who originally published this article
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.