The Bay Area’s sports radio scene remained healthy in the 2021 spring book, led by the sports leader, KNBR. Among Men 25-54, the San Francisco sports station secured Top 3 finishes in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) and for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid), producing a respectable 4.5 and 4.3 share.
KNBR got its best quarterly performance from its morning show ‘Murph & Mac’. The team of Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey finished 1st overall from 6a-10a with a 5.5 share. Their performance was up eight tenths of a point and five ranking positions from the winter book.
Middays also experienced growth as the team of John Lund and Greg Papa wrapped up a 5th place showing thanks to a 4.2 share. Papa and Lund went up two ranking spots from the winter book, adding three tenths of a point in the process.
Afternoons enjoyed similar success. Tom Tolbert, Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks also popped a 4.2 share. That placed them 4th from 2p-6p. They were up six tenths of a point and five ranking positions from the winter book.
Thanks to a strong San Francisco Giants baseball team and Mark Willard, KNBR once again enjoyed great success during the evening hours of 7p-12a. The station was 2nd overall with a 5.0 share, up from a 2.0 share and 13th place in the winter book.
Meanwhile, for local competitor 95.7 The Game, the winter and spring books produced similar stories. The station was 11th in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 3.2 share, up two tenths of a point and two ranking positions from the winter. The Game was also 14th for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with a 2.6 share. That was the same ranking position from the winter book, but they did pick up one tenth of a point.
In AM drive, ‘The Morning Roast’ with Bonta Hill, Kate Scott and Joe Shasky delivered a 2.4 share. That was the same number the show produced in the winter book. The positive, the program gained three ranking positions from book to book.
Middays with Matt Steinmetz, Daryle ‘The Guru’ Johnson and Dan Dibley gained one tenth of a point from winter to spring, improving from a 3.1 to a 3.2. The show held steady in 11th place.
Afternoons were where The Game made its best progress. Damon Bruce, Ray Ratto and Matt Kolsky claimed a 6th place finish with a 3.8 share. That was up five tenths of a point and three ranking positions from the winter book. They were also just four tenths of a point behind Tolbert’s show, and that’s without having the benefit of a few Giants day games.
At night is where The Game took a step backwards. The station was ranked 19th with a 1.7 share, down three tenths of a point and six ranking positions from the winter book. A strong Warriors playoff run next year at this time could change things quickly.
Similar to recent stories told in New York and Philadelphia, San Francisco has one program director signing off, and another coming in. For Jeremiah Crowe, this is a great way to say goodbye. Every daytime show finished the quarter in the Top 5. The Giants are playing great and pumping in audience. That puts incoming PD Kevin Graham in great shape as he gets acclimated to a new market.
For The Game, the afternoon show has some great momentum. With football season around the corner, that should lead to a few more ears tuning in. If the station can get mornings and middays to pop the way PM drive is right now, we could have a tight sports radio race once again in the Bay Area.
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.