Ratings dipped by more than a point for San Francisco’s KNBR and 95.7 The Game during the spring book, a period which encompassed March 26 through June 17. Usually both brands can depend on the Giants, Warriors and other Bay Area teams to create interest during the spring, but without sports for the quarter, and COVID-19 wreaking havoc all over the state of California, a decline was not a surprise.
In weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p), KNBR 104.5/680 remained in the Top-10 with their target demo of Men 25 – 54, finishing 8th with a 3.8 share. According to Nielsen Audio data, KNBR was down 1.2 points from the winter book and nearly two points year over year. Their sports radio competitor, 95.7 The Game finished the spring book with a 2.5 share, down from a 4.3 in the winter. For the full week, (M-SU 6a – Midnight) KNBR earned a 3.2 rating, while The Game produced a 2.3 share.
KNBR’s morning show featuring Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey stayed solid, dropping less than a point from their winter 5 share, finishing in 7th place during the spring with a 4.2 rating. The Game’s morning show Joe, Lo & Dibs was hit a little harder, finishing almost two points back, with a 2.1 share.
The Bay Area midday shows on both stations dropped by more than a point in the spring book. They had been tied for 5th during the winter quarter. For KNBR, Greg Papa and John Lund finished 12th with a 3.2, and The Game’s Bonta, Steiny & Guru earned a 2.1 share.
In afternoons, KNBR’s Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks came in 8th with a 4 share. The Game’s Damon, Ratto & Kolsky finished 16th with a 2.9. Both shows were down about a point and a half from the winter book.
Finishing up in evenings, The Game and KNBR were tied for the spring quarter. From 6p-10p, The Game’s weeknight duo of Ryan Covay and Joe Shasky earned a 2.4 share, a number equaled by Mark Willard on KNBR.
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.