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Bob Chapek Says ESPN+, Hulu Could Be Rolled Into Disney+

“Disney has been steadfast in its promotion of the bundle, especially on ESPN and live sports broadcasts.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Disney

Disney+ could one day include both Hulu and ESPN+ under its umbrella. Disney already offers a bundle of their streaming service, but CEO Bob Chapek said combining of all the services under the Disney+ umbrella is “possible.”

Chapek made the comments on an earnings report last week, a lucrative report at that. Revenues for Mickey Mouse and Co. rose by 45% year-over-year due to theme parks starting to rebound and steaming services booming. Disney is hot on the heels of Netflix, boasting 174 million subscribers across Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+. Disney+ in particular doubled their subscriber base, while ESPN+ grew by 75%.

“Higher advertising revenue from the return of live sports programming was more than offset by higher sports programming costs,” Disney noted in the call.

Disney has been steadfast in its promotion of the bundle, especially on ESPN and live sports broadcasts. Pair that with an equally strong push on Hulu advertising, and the whole project finds itself in a great position.

“So far, [the Disney bundle has] worked really, really well,” Chapek said. “Is there an opportunity for improvement by considering something different going forward? Possibly, but we’re going to continue to learn.”

Chapek highlighted the company’s efforts to promote the bundle. They have built an entire ad campaign around the offering, with Dave Bautista playing the role of “The Streamer,” a woodsman who uses all three apps to stay entertained in the wilderness.

The current bundle of all three services costs $13.99 per month. Paying for all three individually costs around $20 per month. Disney smartly recognizes that they need to incentivize subscription numbers if they want to catch up with Netflix. They aren’t too far in the rearview mirror less than two years since launching Disney+ in November 2019. 

Netflix boasts a strong catalog of original material but when it comes to live content, sports are king. Disney has a big head start on that front, we’ll see if their full inventory of entertainment offerings can push them past Netflix.

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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