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Ben Maller Goes In On LeBron Over Illegal Business Activity

“”According to a 2017 article in Bleacher Report though, James was investigated by the NBA after similar accusations were made when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.””

Jacob Conley

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Fresh off his fourth NBA title, LeBron James is more popular around the league and with fans, than ever. However, citing a story that appeared in The Athletic and several other sources, Fox Sports Radio host Ben Maller said Friday morning that James is using that popularity for illegal business activities. In fact, Maller entitled his podcast on the topic, “LeCriminal”.

“LeBron has been accused of illegal business activities that are hurting his fellow NBA players,” Maller said. “This is a pretty big accusation.”

According to The Athletic story, as reported by Heavy.com Sports, an anonymous agent says James is using his pull to influence players to sign with Klutch Sports, which is owned by James’ agent Rich Paul.

“The worst thing that LeBron is doing is forcing this power with Rich Paul and what that is, in terms of, he’s a player, but he has prowess in the media space,” the source said. “His company Spring Hill, that’s awesome. Doing the movies and all of the projects, that’s so commendable. I love that. But now that they’ve jumped into the agent game, which the reality is, it’s illegal for a player, particularly if you’re in the state of California, to be licensed to represent talent.”

“Do we believe this story?” Maller asks his audience. “I’m shaking my head, yes. LeBron is so omnipresent now he is working the system and no one is going to stop him. I see this as a union issue more than anything else. Nobody in the union has the machismo to stand up to LeBron and its hurting mid-level players.”

According to a 2017 article in Bleacher Report though, James was investigated by the NBA after similar accusations were made when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was later cleared of all wrongdoing.

That did not stop Maller from going after James, however.

“Some players are just collateral damage in the hustle,” Maller said. “Kentavious Caldwell Pope lost millions of dollars being a good little soldier for Klutch Sports by going to the Lakers instead of an 80 million dollar contract with the Pistons. With the Lakers, he earned about 37 million. That’s a lot of money KCP lost because of this. He and other players like him are getting a screw job but there is zero chance the NBA rolls LeBron back on this because he has absolute power. As the English nobleman (Lord Acton) said ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.”

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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