Sighs of relief are sweeping the basketball fandom universe this week as NBA training camp begins.
This means LeBron James is surely readying his pregame chalk toss and Riley Curry, daughter of league MVP Stephen Curry is about prime for a new round of postgame press conference ubercuteness.
And somewhere in Manhattan, Gerald Brown and Howard “Howie Cee” Cowart are prepping for it all and plan to use their SiriusXM radio program, “The Bottom Line Sports Show” to fuse sports fans and their favorite athletes, giving them a chance to get to know the players behind the jerseys.
Each Saturday and Sunday morning, Brown and Coward bring their basketball fan listeners to their local barbershop-style broadcast sitdown chat, a diversion from the cable network sports fare many are used to.
It’s become a favorite stop for famous athletes who tend to mixup their sports chatter just like the rest of us. Those who have graced the satellite airwaves on Bottom Line Sports include Deion Sanders, Dwyane Wade, Damian Lillard, Nas, Cedric The Entertainer, Chris Paul, Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen.
The show initially began in the basement of Brown’s northern New Jersey home in 2006 in response to the disconnect between athletes and journalists, it’s been a hit. “We started asking questions that we as fans wanted to know as opposed to the mundane questions from journalists,” Brown told Ebony.
A ballboy for the New York Knicks in his childhood, the rapport that he developed with athletes back then still translates years later. That said, the experience makes the show rich in content is by digging deep into conversations and debate. Topics range from whether Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James, to the tug-of-war over which film was best: “Friday” or “Next Friday,” to whether Frankie Beverly and Maze could still be relevant in 2015.
The show has an added punch. Orlando Magic legend Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and retired Knicks and Bulls bruiser Charles Oakley ride with Gerald and Howie as the show’s executive producers. The two deliver their own segments like “Penny For Your Thoughts” and “Café Oakley.”
“They’re very knowledgable and they speak the truth,” Hardaway told Ebony. “They don’t try to hammer anybody and gauge guys and make guys feel like less than what they are. It’s barbershop talk for real.”
‘Bottom Line’ recently got some love locally, where the dream all started: New York City. Brown and Cowart recently did some fill-in duty on ESPN Radio’s Hahn & Humpty Show. It’s not a permanent gig, but it is a bi-product of the hard work and diligence their team put in.
“We’re going to continue to keep striving and chasing our dreams,” said Brown. “To this point they have come true.” Dial in to the Bottom Line Sports Show every Saturday and Sunday mornings on Sirius/XM NBA Radio.
To read the rest of this article visit Ebony where this story was originally published
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.