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Philly Sports Radio Ratings Battle Intensifies

Jason Barrett

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Declaring a winner in September in the bitter ratings battle between Sportsradio 94.1 WIP’s Josh Innes and 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli depends on how important you consider digital streaming to be.

According to numbers obtained by Philly.com, Innes and new co-hosts Spike Eskin and Hollis Thomas earned an 8.4 share among traditional radio listeners during the September ratings period (Aug. 13 to Sept. 19) from 2-6 p.m., good enough for first place in the coveted men 25-54 demographic. Missanelli came in second place with an 8.0 share.

But that only tells part of the story.

Missanelli also nabbed enough local listeners from the streaming option on The Fanatic’s website to earn a 1.6 share, which dwarfs the 0.1 share Innes received from streaming listeners. Combining the two numbers would make Missanelli tops in the market among all listeners in the sought-after demographic.

That 1.6 digital share is a huge number for the Philadelphia market and could be a game-changer for Missanelli if he sustains it, especially thought the popular Eagles season. Radio stations sell advertising on radio and streaming seperately, and a growing digital audience could open up new revenue potential for The Fanatic.

But Innes isn’t buying that conclusion.

“Mike can cling to whatever metric he wants. The reality is that my show has never lost to him in the only metric that matters,” Innes said. “We won with Tony. We are winning with Tank and Spike. Why has Mike never brought up streaming before? Including the streaming is a desperate attempt to skew reality.”

For the month, The Fanatic had impressive local online streaming ratings for all three of their daytime programs among men 25-54. From 6-10 a.m., Anthony Gargano brought in a 0.9 share, compared to Angelo Cataldi’s 0.2 share. Rob Ellis earned an impressive 1.9 share from streaming listeners between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., while midday competitors Michael Barkann and Ike Reese brought in a 0.3 share.

The Fanatic’s streaming ratings for the previous two months were on par with WIP, so it remains to be seen if September’s numbers are sustainable or just an aberration. It is important to note the ratings have improved since the station overhauled their website and noticeably improved the audio quality of the stream.

Despite the streaming numbers, Innes topped Missanelli in the market for the second straight quarter among men 25-54 during the summer ratings book (June 18 to Sept. 9), one of four quarterly measurements of a show’s popularity that usually determines a host’s bonus. For the quarter, Innes earned an 8.2 share, placing him second in the market behind 93.3 WMMR. Missanelli finished just behind him in third place with a 7.4 share.

In other ratings news, The Fanatic’s Gargano kept things close with WIP’s Cataldi, though both were out on vacation a significant numbers of days during the ratings period. Cataldi finished the month with a 7.1 share, good enough for second among men between the ages of 25 and 54 from 6-10 a.m. Gargano finished just behind him in third with a 6.4 share, but if you add the streaming numbers both hosts would be tied with a 7.3 share.

Gargano has been narrowing the ratings gap in the morning between The Fanatic and WIP, so all eyes will be on next month’s ratings, with both hosts going head-to-head during Eagles season.

Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Paul Finebaum: ESPN, FOX Have Power To Tank EA Sports College Football Video Game

“Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football.”

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Paul Finebaum

The power brokers in college football now are the media. In particular, it is ESPN, who is set to take over the SEC’s media rights and FOX, who controls the Big Ten’s media rights. Paul Finebaum said recently on the Dynasty Mode podcast that those relationships give the two networks major control over college football.

Dynasty Mode is a podcast about EA Sports’ popular college football video game series hosted by BSM writers Arky Shea and Demetri Ravanos. Finebaum told the pair that if either ESPN and FOX or the Big Ten and the SEC don’t want to work together, the video game, which will return to store shelves in 2023 after a ten-year absence from the market, could be doomed.

“We’re a year removed from an absolute certainty, that was a 12 school playoff for the CFP, getting shot down for the very same reason,” he said. “So if they can shoot down the most important entity in college sports, I think they can shoot down this.”

Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football. He told Shea and Ravanos that he hopes power brokers at schools and networks realize that.

“I think it’s been very important and I don’t know how many people that are in those power five seats think about stuff like that.”

In the early 2000s, Tony Bruno brought a fictionalized version of his radio show to EA Sports’ Madden NFL series. Finebaum said he had not been approached yet by EA to do something similar for the new college football video game.

“I’m really surprised they haven’t because it would be a big money-making operation, at least for me. I don’t know about for them, but I am happy to participate,” Finebaum joked.

He added that the real value to EA Sports would be his audience. They could give the game a level of authenticity that many fans have missed as college football becomes a more corporate entity.

“You can replace me, but you can’t replace the callers. They are the most unique, and I think it takes a lot of work to nurture callers like that. I’m not campaigning for EA because I have people to do that for me,” he said. “Point being, what makes college sports what it is? It’s the fans. It’s not the fat cats that buy the one million or two million dollar suites. It’s not the people sitting with the president. It’s the rank and file that probably never get to campus.”

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Sports Radio News

Matt Chernoff: WFAN’s Sal Licata ‘Doesn’t Have The Guts’ to Appear On 680 The Fan Again

“He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that?”

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Would WFAN’s Sal Licata join Chuck and Chernoff on 680 The Fan in Atlanta again? According to Matt Chernoff, no.

During a May appearance on SNY, Licata declared the National League East race over, saying the New York Mets had wrapped up the division. The Atlanta Braves then proceeded to win 14 consecutive games. The Mets currently hold a seven game lead over the Braves in the division.

After the 14 game winning streak, Chuck and Chernoff had Licata on their show to confront him about the opinion, and things got slightly heated, with Chernoff and Licata eventually yelling at each other, before cooler heads prevailed.

The two hosts rekindled their disdain for one another after the Mets won four of five games against the Braves over the weekend, with the two trading barbs on Twitter. Licata joked Chernoff should hope the New York host doesn’t move to Atlanta to win a ratings battle, and called Chernoff a clown before deleting the tweet. He later tweeted “Funny. No invites from Atlanta sports talk radio today,” accompanied by a should shrug emoji. That caught the attention of Chernoff, who addressed it to open his show Monday.

“He (Licata) won’t come on,” Chernoff said. “He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that? He made a fool of himself and then lied about it to his own fans. There’s a reason he didn’t play the audio on his dumb little show. And next time when he’s an hour late, they have that to play instead. I mean, honestly, if he wants to come on, come on. He has no interest. He does not want this smoke.”

@680thefan

Chernoff has had enough of loud mouth Sal Licata of #wfan #braves #mets

♬ original sound – 680 The Fan

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Sports Radio News

790 The Score Debuts In Providence

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

Jordan Bondurant

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After reporting last week that Kevin McNamara would be the station’s only local host in the programming lineup, 790 The Score in Providence, Rhode Island is officially on the air.

The station, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, has been revived and will serve as the market’s first sports and sports betting station.

“The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage,” said Holly Paras, VP and market manager of Cumulus Providence. “We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love 790 THE SCORE!”

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch some of the top national talent on the airwaves throughout the day and night. This includes hosts like Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

McNamara will host his show Kevin Mac Sports Hour daily from 5-7 p.m.

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