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IMG To Launch College Football Blitz

Jason Barrett

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The NFL’s two RedZone channels have become a TV phenomenon, whipping viewers around to potential scoring plays on any given Sunday. Now, IMG will launch its own RedZone-like channel for college football fans on Saturdays. But they’ll do it via digital radio.

IMG tells Sporting News they plan to announce the new College Football Blitz, a live and on-demand digital audio platform, as early as Thursday. Starting this Saturday, College Football Blitz will offer 10 hours of live, cut-in radio coverage all day on Saturdays from 2 p.m. ET to midnight. Plus, scoring updates, on-demand highlights, coaches interviews and analysis.

Produced by IMG, College Football Blitz will be available on SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio and IMGCollege.com. It will run through the end of the 2015 regular season, but won’t include postseason action. The whip around format will encompass an estimated 75 percent of Power 5 conference games played this season.

Think of College Football Blitz as the Internet radio version of ESPN’s Goal Line TV channel for college football and other collegiate sports. ESPN Goal Line  offers whiparound TV coverage for viewers of college football, college basketball (Buzzer Beater) and college baseball (Bases Loaded). ESPN launched Goal Line in 2010. In addition to Goal Line for TV viewers, ESPN Radio broadcasts College GameDay from noon to 7 p.m ET on college football Saturdays to update listeners on the action.

But the best part of College Football Blitz is that fans will be able to listen some of the great, hometown radio talent calling regional college games from anywhere in the country, according to Chris Ferris, VP of Broadcasting for IMG Audio.

They include Don Criqui at Notre Dame, Dan Dierdorf at Michigan, Gene Deckerhoff at Florida State, Bill Roth at UCLA, Eric LeGrand and Ray Lucas at Rutgers, and Damon Huard at Washington.

Criqui is one of the most famous play-by-play announcers in sports history, calling NFL football for 47 seasons from 1967 to 2013. Sportscasters want to be heard by as many people as possible. The more fans listening to their work, the better, said Criqui in a statement to Sporting News.

Football broadcasters will all welcome being incorporated into the Blitz,” he said. “How can you beat having your broadcast available everywhere? The Blitz is a win-win for everyone involved, listeners and broadcasters.

About 80 percent of the action on College Football Blitz will be live, according to Andrew Giangola, VP of Strategic Communications for IMG College. There will also be halftime and post-game shows hosted by two anchors he declined to name.

To read the rest of the article visit the Sporting News where it 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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