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Brent Musberger Weighs In On Anthem Protests

Brandon Contes

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The new voice of the Oakland Raiders and hall-of-fame broadcaster Brent Musburger recently joined Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger on Fox Sports Radio.  The conversation began by discussing his first preseason game with the Raiders and quickly shifted to the issue of players protesting during the national anthem.

“The potential danger is the insult being delivered to customers,” said Musburger on The Mark and Rich Show.  “This is a very very tricky situation for ownership.  I’ve talk to several and they’re beside themselves because just when they think things are quieting down, President Trump will get on his ‘Twitter high horse’ and unload again, then of course the certain segment of the football population will respond accordingly and the two sides harden on their side of this particular issue, it’s a business issue and it’s a social justice issue.

Musburger continued in response to a question from Willard of why a player like Marshawn Lynch can sit on the bench during the anthem and remain on a team, yet Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid aren’t offered contracts.  “I find that it’s very unfortunate the leadership of the NFL didn’t address Colin Kaepernick immediately and explain to him what issues were at stake here with business.  I think a couple of thing would have happened, I think things would have quieted down quickly and to tell you the truth, I think Colin Kaepernick would still be playing someplace to this day.”

Musburger went on to say he would be surprised to see Kaepernick sign on with an NFL team at this point because of the stir it would create.  The hall-of-fame broadcaster added he does not know Colin personally, but remains hopeful safety Eric Reid gets a contract offer.

“I was around him at LSU and he was very nice to deal with, (referring to Reid) I enjoyed talking to him as he got ready for the Tigers and I’m sorry that he’s caught up in this wash because I think he is good enough right now to play for some team.”

During the interview Musburger discussed his belief, in terms of players kneeling, that the original reason for protesting is no longer the focal point.  The issue has shifted to the business side of needing to maintain everyone as customers.

If Musburger could advise the players on the protest, he would offer “You’ve got some real grievances in this country I have no issue about that, there will be no argument from anybody on that and we would like to clean up some of these things, but in your particular business I wouldn’t want to insult any of the customers like you’re doing because they take it the wrong way, they think it’s a slap in the face toward our flag and a lot of them have relatives who lost their lives.”

Putting blame on the league and owners for allowing the issue to drag on as long as it does, Musburger wished “there had been a resolution and we could get back to talking about the great game that football can be.”

Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger host weekdays on XTRA 1360 Fox Sports in San Diego.  The full interview of Musburger on The Mark and Rich Show can be heard here.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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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