Westwood One has announced its full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff of this year’s Super Bowl between the defending champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles. This year marks the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.
The game broadcast will feature the outstanding play by play team of Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason. This will be Harlan’s eighth Super Bowl with the network. It’s Esiason’s 18th Super Bowl broadcast for Westwood One and his 19th overall. After working this year’s big game, Esiason will have broadcast more Super Bowls than any other analyst in NFL history.
In addition to the play by play team, Westwood will utilize Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren during the game broadcast. Former All-Pro Offensive Lineman Tony Boselli returns for his second straight year as sideline reporter, joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder. Jim Gray will once again anchor the network’s pregame and halftime coverage, with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England quarterback Tom Brady checking in. Scott Graham and Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will contribute to the pregame show coverage.
The network also has plans to provide shoulder programming to stations leading up to the game broadcast. Gameday coverage starts at 2pm ET, with “Super Bowl Preview,” co-hosted by Scott Graham, Boomer Esiason and Mike Holmgren, followed by “Super Bowl Insider,” co-hosted by Jason Horowitz and Tony Boselli at 3pm ET. At 4pm ET, live coverage from the stadium begins with “Super Sunday,” the Super Bowl LII pregame show hosted by Scott Graham. The Super Bowl game broadcast is scheduled for 5pm ET with kickoff anticipated to be approximately 6:35pm ET.
Prior to Sunday’s full slate of programming, Westwood One will air “Seven Days to Sunday—The Road to Super Bowl LII.” The hour-long preview show will air each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday, beginning Monday January 29th and continuing through Saturday February 3rd. Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, will host the nightly program which includes interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.
Westwood One says coverage of Super Bowl LII will be available on more than 700 radio stations nationwide and 150+ FM translators. Fans can also hear the broadcast on SiriusXM, via the TuneIn Radio app, and through NFL Game Pass, which is available on NFL.com and the NFL mobile app. It’ll also be carried on the American Forces Radio Network, which provides programming to America’s military forces in over 175 countries and territories, as well as on more than 200 U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command ships at sea.
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.