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Milwaukee Sports Radio Ratings Race Remains Tight

“The Game finished the summer book with a 1.5 share (M-SU 6a-Mid) for their target demo, men 25-54. Not too far behind was Good Karma’s 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee and Entercom’s The Fan WSSP, both earning a 1.1 share.”

Brandon Contes

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Milwaukee is a growing hotbed for sports radio with three sports stations competing for audience. In the summer ratings book, that competition between 97.3 The Game, 94.5 ESPN, and 1250 The Fan remained tight.

The Game finished the summer book with a 1.5 share (M-SU 6a-Mid) in their target demo, Men 25-54. Both 94.5 ESPN and 1250/105.7 The Fan produced a 1.1 share. The Fan has since dropped their FM signal 105.7, reverting back to 1250 AM, that change will be reflected in the fall book.

Only shares for the morning and afternoon drive blocks were provided to BSM. From 6 – 9a, The Game received their biggest performance of the quarter from morning host Steve Czaban. Czabe delivered a 3.8, best in the market among format shows. The Fan’s Bart Winkler Show earned a 1.9 share, while ESPN Milwaukee finished the summer book with a 1.3 from 6 – 9a. ESPN Radio launched Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin in the last month of the book, which triggered a few changes at 94.5. The new national show airs from 5 – 7a on ESPN Milwaukee, who also added Jen Lada, pairing her with Gabe Neitzel and Mark Chmura for a local show from 7 – 9a. Those shows will have a full quarter of performance to review in the fall book.

In afternoons, ESPN Milwaukee finished first among the three sports stations with a 2.4 share from 3 – 6p. Previously, ESPN Milwaukee aired Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel in afternoon drive, but the recent lineup shift now features Homer and Tony Smith from 2 – 4p, followed by Greg Scalzo and Ben Brust until 6p. 

97.3 The Game did a 1.6 share with Drew Olson and Kevin Brandt in afternoon drive. The Fan’s Wendy’s Big Show finished third among Milwaukee’s sports stations from 3 – 6p, with a 1.3 share.

As leagues returned to action mid-book, Milwaukee’s local teams had high expectations. The Bucks restarted their season with championship aspirations, the Brewers snuck into the playoffs and the Packers appear to be a Super Bowl contender. Despite those expectations, Milwaukee’s three sports stations each dropped by one-tenth of a point from their spring books for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid). 

Good Karma’s News/Talk station WTMJ serves as the rightsholder for the Bucks, Brewers and Packers. As a sister station of WTMJ, ESPN Milwaukee is provided better access to Wisconsin’s pro teams than their local sports radio competition. 

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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