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Learfield Expands Aggies Network

Jason Barrett

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Concurrent with the 2015-16 collegiate athletic season kicking off, NM State fans will recognize numerous enhancements and upgrades to their radio listening experience as unveiled today by Learfield Sports, NM State Athletics’ multimedia rights partner.

Enhancements for radio listeners include Learfield securing KDSK 1240 AM/93.7 FM in Albuquerque as the new home for Aggie football, men’s basketball and coaches’ shows. Gallup’s KYVA 1230 AM also will air select football games, men’s basketball games and coaches’ shows. Additionally, football fans will hear brand-new, specially produced pre-game feature segments, coupled with live studio college football updates.

“One of Learfield Sports main strengths is their knowledge of radio and broadcast production as well as their ability to build strong statewide radio networks!” said NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. “We asked them to deliver the Aggies across the entire state of New Mexico and in an unbelievably short period of time they have made great strides. While we are always looking at expanding (El Paso, northern New Mexico and Spanish language broadcasts) we are pleased with their strong start out of the gate. I am also pleased that our Olympic sports will receive coverage over the air as well which will continue the emphasis we place on their importance.”

Returning for his 36th year is NM State Hall of Famer Jack Nixon, who Learfield retained as the iconic ‘Voice of the Aggies’ handling play-by-play duties for football and men’s basketball. Fans will be able to hear Nixon’s calls on Aggie Sports Network, and all radio broadcasts will be streamed on the official athletic website, NMStateSports.com. This year’s flagship stations include 570 KWML-AM/104.5 K283CG-FM in Las Cruces (football, men’s basketball, coaches’ shows) and 91.5 KRUX-FM in Las Cruces (women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball). Additionally, fans can hear the Aggies on 103.7 KNMZ-FM in Alamagordo (football, men’s basketball) and Carlsbad – 1240 KAMQ-AM (football, men’s basketball, coaches’ shows).

Beginning this fall, Learfield also introduces a new concept with affiliate partner KRUX-FM to benefit NM State students. As part of an initiative to create and feature student-generated content, the two parties will collaborate on an extensive program to train and provide students with opportunities for live radio play-by-play and color analyst experiences during select women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball broadcasts.

“This is a wonderful profession that delivers a special enthusiasm to radio listeners during games, and I think it’s outstanding that Learfield Sports and KRUX are offering up this platform to future broadcasters,” said Nixon. “I have enjoyed sharing Aggie athletics and unforgettable moments over the airwaves for nearly four decades, and what a terrific hands-on opportunity this will be for the next generation of broadcasters and analysts.”

NM State students who are part of the Student Media department will be hired as broadcasts analysts and work closely with Learfield and 91.5 on the inaugural venture.

“We’re off and running with this partnership and couldn’t be more excited about what we have in store for fans this year,” said Chris Lahey, General Manager of NM State Sports Properties, Learfield’s local entity that oversees the Aggies’ rights.

Credit to New Mexico State’s website where this story was originally published

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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