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1500 ESPN & FOX 9/My29 To Air United Soccer Games

Jason Barrett

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FOX 9/My29 and 1500 ESPN have joined forces to strike a broadcast partnership with Minnesota United, which will place the team’s games on local television and radio for the 2017 Major League Soccer season. Fans will be able to watch all non-nationally broadcast MNUFC matches on My29, and can hear every match simulcast on 1500 ESPN.

My29 partnered with the United last year, broadcasting all of the team’s games during the 2016 season. The partnership with 1500 ESPN is the first radio broadcast agreement in club history.

Sheila Oliver, Vice President and General Manager of FOX 9 and My29 said, “It’s going to be a fun year for the Minnesota United. This is a great team with a bright and exciting future and we are proud to continue our partnership as their television home for live games.”

The broadcast will feature play-by-play announcer Callum Willliams, color commentator Kyndra de St. Aubin and sideline reporter Jamie Watson. Williams has called MLS and top European league matches for major broadcasters in England, de St. Aubin has covered the men’s and women’s national teams, and has been a part of MLS and college broadcast crews throughout her career, and Watson is a former Loons player, with a career spanning all levels of pro soccer in the U.S.

“Minnesota United is looking forward to continuing our partnership with FOX 9 and My29 in our inaugural MLS season, plus beginning a new one with 1500 ESPN,” added MNUFC President Nick Rogers. “The team we’ve put together for our TV broadcasts is a fantastic one. The mix of experiences from Callum’s background in England to Kyndra’s work covering the national teams to Jamie’s history with the club will make for a strong blend of voices to represent Minnesota United and engage our fans.”

Long-time soccer announcer Chris Lidholm will be the studio host for pre-match, half time and post-match for all matches on 1500 ESPN. Lidholm has commentated on soccer matches in Minnesota for over 20 years, and was the club’s television play-by-play announcer from 2010 to 2016.

“This is so cool,” said 1500 ESPN Program Director Brad Lane. “We couldn’t be more excited to help usher in a new generation of play-by-play on the radio in the Twin Cities with the inaugural MLS season for Minnesota United. We look forward to serving what’s been an untapped audience of passionate soccer fans by partnering with MNUFC.”

Minnesota United will feature in several nationally broadcast matches throughout the season. Eight matches are currently set to be on national stations including Fox Sports 1 and ESPN networks. The March 3rd season opener can be seen on Fox Sports 1, with a special radio broadcast on myTalk 107.1 FM.

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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