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Mike’s On App Launches Today

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The Mike’s On app debuts today, Friday. Listeners have been asking Mike Francesa ‘what’s next?’ since early 2016, when he told Katie Nolan his plans to leave WFAN in December of the following year. After months of silence, Francesa returned to WFAN this past May, but insisted his comeback was in conjunction with launching his new project, the Mike’s On app.

“I’ve wanted for a while to have my own content machine – my own content vehicle that I could control and that I would have the ability to go [on-air] when I wanted,” Francesa told TheStreet in an interview on Thursday from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. “I think there’s a market for it.”

Francesa appears to be more committed to the Mike’s On app than his 2012 project, the Audio Roadshow App which was oft ignored and eventually forgotten by the legendary WFAN host. At a steep price of $8.99 per month, Mike has no choice but to remain committed to his new platform.

To compare, SiriusXM, which offers Francesa’s former partner Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, Howard Stern, and hundreds of exclusive channels and sporting events, costs about $13 per month. ESPN+ carries thousands of live sporting events, unique programming and Insider content, while costing just $4.99 per month. For a host that spends four hours each weekday on WFAN at no expense to consumers, Francesa will need to offer a lot of exclusive content to make the $8.99 price fee worthwhile.

According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, the Mike’s On app is expected to launch in two phases. The first phase features just Francesa, the video simulcast of his WFAN show and the ability to hear Mike’s immediate reaction following breaking news or a big game 24/7. The app will also provide consumers with an exclusive Saturday college football show and Mike’s long-running Sunday morning NFL program.

The second phase of the app launch, according to Marchand, will introduce other voices to the app. Francesa has stated on his WFAN show that he will look to use the app as a way to develop other sports radio personalities. While on-air Thursday afternoon, Mike confirmed WFAN overnight host, John Jastremski, will be featured on the app. The enthusiastic Jastremski has frequented Francesa’s WFAN show as a guest in recent months.

For the first two weeks, the Mike’s On app will be available for a free trial, giving fans the opportunity to decide if $8.99 is a worthy fee. WFAN’s parent company, Entercom and Francesa’s agency, CAA are minority partners in the new venture.

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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