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University of Nebraska Omaha Re-Signs with The Zone

Jason Barrett

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NRG Media and 1620 The Zone have reached an agreement with the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks to continue their affiliation. The deal is for multiple years and was coordinated through the multimedia rights holder, Learfield Omaha Sports Properties.

As part of the Omaha Sports Network, overseen by Learfield, 1620 The Zone, and 1180 Zone 2 are committed to airing all hockey and basketball games along with select men’s and women’s soccer games and the UNO Maverick Minute shows (to be heard on 1180 AM, 1620 AM and 1290 AM) during hockey and basketball seasons. Details on the station’s respective sports coverage is as follows:

All hockey and men’s and women’s basketball games will air on 1180 Zone 2 and stream on www.1620thezone.com. In the event of a hockey conflict, any and all basketball games will be heard on 1620 The Zone (KOZN 1620 AM) or Newstalk 1290 KOIL and streamed on www.newstalk1290koil.com. Additionally, select men’s and women’s soccer games will be carried in Spanish on La Nueva KMMQ 1020 AM, and the broadcasts also will stream live on the station’s site www.lanueva1020.com.

“This continues to be a fantastic partnership for the 1620 The Zone platform as our listeners are deeply rooted in UNO Athletics as a hometown team, and this coverage will allow them to always stay in touch with the Mavericks,” said Andy Ruback, General Manager of 1620 The Zone and Market Manager for NRG Media in Omaha.

According to UNO Vice Chancellor of Athletics Trev Alberts, “We’re very happy to continue our relationship with NRG Media, a recognized leader in sports broadcasting in Omaha. Whether over the air or through streaming audio, NRG Media’s stations have provided a reliable home for Omaha Athletics, and our fans will be able to continue following our basketball and hockey teams when they can’t be at a game.”

1620 The Zone is the top-ranked sports radio station in the Omaha market. The Zone features Sharp and Benning in the Morning, Nick Bahe in middays and John Bishop and Josh Peterson on Unsportsmanlike Conduct in afternoons. All programming can be heard online at www.1620thezone.com and on the 1620 The Zone smartphone apps.

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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