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Under The Radar – 7/28/16

Jason Barrett

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After a few days away on business, I’m happy to get back on track and bring you up to speed on some recent developments inside the sports media industry. As always, if you have a news tip to share or a great story that you feel would be beneficial to others in the industry to be aware of, please send it to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • Former WDAE weekday host, and NFL player Ian Beckles has signed on to be part of a Sunday show on 102.5 The Bone in Tampa. The new program debuts on Sunday August 7th and will air from 11a-1p. Beckles is expected to be teamed with Mike Calta and Drew Garabo.
  • Speaking of WDAE, the radio station has added former Tampa Tribune Buccaneers beat reporter Roy Cummings as a special Bucs training camp correspondent. He’ll file a daily practice report and appear on the radio station’s key weekday programs.
  • Congratulations is in order for Mike Pearson who has been promoted to Assistant Program Director of SB Nation Radio (formerly Yahoo). Pearson has been a part of the Houston based network since 2012 and will work under PD Craig Larson.
  • Multiple sources have told BSM that the Los Angeles Rams have undergone a series of changes with their plans for their radio broadcast team. The team originally wanted Andrew Siciliano and Eric Dickerson to anchor the broadcast, but insiders say that neither are expected to be a part of it. It’s unclear of why talks broke down, but the latest scuttlebutt is that the team is now strongly considering JB Long and Maurice Jones-Drew.
  • Denver sports radio personalities Nate Lundy and Shawn Drotar announced on social media that they have launched the 5280 Sports Network, a Denver-centric website with a focus on pro and college sports, and featuring exclusive podcasts and video. The site went live yesterday. You can check it out by clicking here.
  • Portland sports radio stations 910 ESPN (KMTT) and 1080 The FAN (KFXX) have reached a multi-year agreement with the Washington State-IMG Sports Network. Beginning with the 2016 college football season, 910 ESPN-Portland will serve as the Portland affiliate for Cougar game-day broadcasts, with select games also to air on 1080 The FAN.
  • Joe Ferreira has left Learfield Communications to take a new position as the VP of Content Strategy for CSN Mid-Atlantic. Ferreira posted on Facebook that he’ll be leading a talented team of studio news, original programming, digital, and scheduling execs including on-air talent. His first day on the job will be Monday August 1st.
  • Boston radio personality Keith Rice has been added as a blog-contributor to WEEI.com.

Sports Radio News

SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

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 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, All 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 its 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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