With three sports radio stations vying for listeners in one market, the Houston ratings book is always interesting to look at.
Traditionally, Houston’s numbers are lower than most of the Top 10 sports radio markets, but that doesn’t make the local competition any less pressure packed. For the winter book, according to Nielsen Audio, there was a clear picture of who shined during 2020’s first quarter, and it was Sports Radio 610. Program director Armen Williams made lineup changes last year, and the latest results have to give him and his team confidence that they’re on the right track. Though SportsTalk 790 and 97.5 ESPN Houston had quarterly declines, they remain formidable competition and could turn things around quickly, so nobody in the market should feel comfortable.
Beginning with the weekday shows, 610’s morning show with Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast cracked the top-10 with a 3.1 share between 6a-10a. The station’s morning show was ranked 22nd at the same time last year, a big jump for Payne and Pendergast. ESPN Houston produced a 1 share, while 790 did a 0.7. It’s important to note that ESPN Houston breaks up the 4-hour window by offering a combination of Golic & Wingo, The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein (7 – 9a), followed by John & Raheel with Del (9 – 11a). SportsTalk 790’s morning show with Sean Salisbury fills the full 6 – 10a window.
In middays between 10a-2p, John Lopez and Landry Locker produced a 3 share, good enough to lead 610’s In the Loop to an 11th place tie. Similar to the morning show, the middday crew enjoyed a massive jump year-over-year rising up from 23rd place. SportsTalk 790 finished the 10a-3p daypart in 24th place. 790 features a combination of In The Trenches with ND Kalu and The Matt Thomas Show during that 5-hour block. 97.5 finished in 27th in the 10a-3p daypart. Their on-air programming during that time includes John & Raheel with Del, Charlie Pallilo and The Usual Suspects with Joel Blank and Barry Laminack.
In afternoons, Clint Stoerner won the quarter by generating a 2.9 share to earn a tie for 15th place. ESPN Houston’s performance in the traditional PM drive daypart (M-F 3p-7p) was a 1.2 share. The station aired 1-hour of The Usual Suspects and The Blitz with Fred Faour and AJ Hoffman during the full daypart. SportsTalk 790 was third among the sports stations in afternoons. The A-Team w/ Wexler and Clanton (M-F 3p-6p) and The Nightcap (M-F 6p-7p) delivered a 0.7 which placed 790 in 25th place.
In weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p), 610 was 14th with a 2.9 share, doubling their year-over-year performance. ESPN Houston and SportsTalk 790 finished 24th and 25th respectively, both earning below a 1 share.
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.
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.
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.