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Sports Radio Ratings From Around The Country

Jason Barrett

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The December ratings are in for a number of cities and that means the Fall Book has now come to an end. Rather than doing a number of market specific pieces, I figured I’d share some key details from a couple of top brands in various cities. As other stations report their data I’ll be sure to update that as well.

New York: WFAN bested 98.7 ESPN NY for the Fall Book. In mornings, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton did a 6.2 to finish third with Men 25-54. ESPN’s Mike & Mike was 11th with a 3.6. In middays, Joe & Evan on WFAN were 5th with a 6.1, ESPN’s Dan LeBatard Show which had recently signed on the radio station in September, turned in a 2.3 to place 15th.

From 1p-3p, Mike Francesa’s first two hours of his show on WFAN delivered a 7.9 which was more than triple the number of Alan Hahn & Rick DiPietro who produced a 2.5. The positive news for ESPN’s program is that this was their first ratings book and they were up from 1.8 which Mike Lupica’s show previously generated.

In afternoons, Mike Francesa won the head to head battle with Michael Kay. Francesa’s show between 3p-6:30p turned in a 6.8 compared to Kay’s program which did a 4.2 during that same time period. Overall, Francesa’s full show from 1p-6:30p registered a 7.2 which placed the program 2nd overall, only a tenth of a point behind WCBS.

Chicago: ESPN 1000 won the Fall Book versus 670 The Score. The station finished 1st M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8, narrowly edging The Score which was 2nd with a 4.7. They also came in 6th with a 4.2 M-SU 6a-Mid while The Score was 8th with a 3.8.

In show by show comparisons, The Score won the morning battle with Mully & Hanley finishing 4th with a 5.2 while Mike & Mike came in 6th with a 4.7. In the middays, Spiegel & Goff on The Score were 2nd with a 5.1 opposite  Carmen & Jurko who were 7th with a 3.8.

David Kaplan who joined ESPN 1000 in September after leaving WGN finished 1st with a 4.9 during his hours of 12p-2p. In the afternoon matchup, ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy produced a 5.5 to finish 1st while The Score’s Boers & Bernstein were 5th with a 4.2.

The Score airs an hour of Spiegel & Goff and an hour of Boers & Bernstein between 12p-2p opposite Kaplan’s show.

San Francisco: KNBR won the month with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8 to 3.8 against 95.7 The Game. However, it was their lowest number in the demo in two years and down from a 6.1 last year. The Game during that same time has grown from a 3.4 to 3.8.

Head to Head, KNBR won in mornings with Murph & Mac delivering a strong 6.1 compared to The Game’s Chad, Joe & Lo program turning in a 3.9. Gary & Larry on KNBR produced a 3.5 from 10a-12p which was slightly ahead of Haberman & Middlekauff’s 3.0. The Game once again beat KNBR 12p-3p, with Papa & Lund beating Fitz & Brooks 4.2 to 3.1. In afternoon, Tom Tolbert had a big month finishing with a 5.3 which was ahead of Damon Bruce who had a 3.0. Although the 49ers and Raiders haven’t turned in big numbers, KNBR has seen a lift from the Warriors thanks to the team’s hot start to the season.

Dallas: Both The Fan and The Ticket have stories to celebrate heading into the holidays. In the December book, The Fan won the head to head matchup with The Ticket for M-SU 6a-Mid. The Fan was 5th with a 4.2, The Ticket was 6th with a 4.0. For M-F 6a-7p the nod went to The Ticket which delivered a 5.0 to place 4th. The Fan came in 5th with a 4.2.

In show by show comparisons, The Musers dominated morning drive finishing 1st with an 8.3. The Fan was 9th with a 3.3. In middays (10a-3p) The Ticket (6th) edged The Fan (8th) 4.0 to 3.8 and in afternoons it went 5.4 for The Ticket (3rd) and 4.4 for The Fan (6th). When you analyze the data year over year, The Ticket has lost a ratings point and The Fan has gained one, which is a big reason why the two stations are locked in a very tight battle. Expect more of that to continue with both brands in 2016.

Philadelphia: WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic were once again locked in a fierce battle in the city of brotherly love for the December book. In morning drive, WIP’s Angelo Cataldi delivered a 8.5 and beat The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano who turned in a 7.4. In middays, WIP led by Michael Barkann and Ike Reese generated a 6.5 which was ahead of The Fanatic’s Harry Mayes & Rob Ellis who produced a 5.5. In afternoon drive, Mike Missanelli won the month for The Fanatic with an 8.1, one tenth of a point ahead of Josh Innes who had an 8.0. Innes did however best Missanelli for the Fall Book with an 8.3 to 8.1 victory.

One item that figures to be a hot topic of conversation in 2016 in the market is streaming. When digital numbers are added to the equation, The Fanatic is seeing a bigger lift than WIP. That’ll be something for us to keep an eye on.

Washington DC: The month belonged once again to 106.7 The Fan, as the station finished 7th with a 4.9 with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p, and 9th with a 4.1 M-SU 6a-Mid. The stations numbers were two tenths of a point lower than November. By comparison, ESPN 980 was 16th with a 2.4 for M-F 6a-7p and 17th with a 2.5 M-F 6a-Mid. Last month they were 15th M-F 6a-7p with a 2.5 and 15th with M-SU 6a-Mid with a 2.7.

For the talk shows, The Fan held serve as the top dog in the market with Men 25-54. In mornings, The Sports Junkies lost a tenth of a point between November and December, going from a 4.8 to a 4.7 to finish in 7th. ESPN 980 experienced slight growth going from a 2.2 and 15th in November to 2.6 and 14th in December. The station’s decision to drop “The Man Cave” and replace them with “Mike & Mike” did not hurt the radio station.

In middays, Grant and Danny also lost a few tenths, dropping from 6.8 in November to 6.4 in December. They remain in 2nd place and are the top rated show in the market. For 980 during the 10a-2p hours (Tony Kornheiser and The Sports Fix), the station grew from 2.4 and 16th in November to 2.5 and 15th in December.

During afternoon drive, Chad Dukes had a 4.2 to place 9th which was slightly down from last month’s 4.5 when he also finished 9th. 980 meanwhile between 2p-6p (Inside The Locker Room and two hours of Steve Czaban’s show) had their biggest decline, falling from 2.8 and 13th in November to 2.3 and 19th in December.

What I particularly found interesting is that both brands experienced a minor dip during a period when the Redskins were picking up steam in the NFC. One would think that with Kirk Cousins making his presence felt on the field and on camera (You Like That?), and the team battling for the NFC East crown that the numbers would increase. That’ll be something to watch heading into next month.

Boston: The nation’s most competitive market didn’t disappoint as sports radio finished 1st and 2nd respectively for the Fall Book with Men 25-54. 98.5 The Sports Hub led the way with a 13.6 while WEEI was behind them with a 9.1.

In sizing up the head to head show comparisons, The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich finished first in mornings with a 14.6. WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan which includes Kirk Minihane was second at a 13.4. Incredible numbers from both shows. In middays, Zolak & Bertrand on The Sports Hub came in 1st with a 12.3. WEEI’s Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni & Christian Fauria placed 3rd with an 8.5. In afternoons, Felger & Massarotti were 1st on The Sports Hub with a phenomenal 16.9. WEEI’s Dale & Holley which also features Jerry Thornton, were strong with a 9.6.

During the evenings, The Sports Hub which airs Adam Jones’ Show and Bruins and Celtics play by play, came in first with an 11.4. WEEI which offers The Planet Mikey Show finished second with a 7.8.

St. Louis: 101 ESPN had an excellent Fall Book, producing an 8.3 to finish 3rd overall with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p. The station was also 9th with Persons 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8. Those performances helped the station finish the month as the market’s top rated spoken word station. In addition, Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler, Stalter & Duncan and The Fast Lane with Karraker, Farr & Thompson all finished 3rd in their respective timeslots.

Minneapolis: KFAN in Minneapolis finished the month once again in 1st with Men 25-54 but this time the brand also occupied the top spot with Persons 25-54. Their performance this year is among the best in the format across the entire country. The station generated a massive 15.7 rating with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p and a 15.0 M-F 6a-Mid.

For the individual shows, The Power Trip morning show and Paul Allen’s midday show were both 1st overall with Men 25-54 with a 16.8. The Common Man’s midday program finished with a 14.2 and was also #1, and afternoon host Dan Barreiro turned in an outstanding 16.0 to also finish 1st. When you register #1 in every single daypart on your radio station, that my friends is called massive success.

As additional information comes in from other markets we’ll keep you updated!

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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