Most of the sports media talk regarding Mike Tirico has concerned his move to the Sunday Night Football booth with Al Michaels’ NBC contract expiring. Tirico has also been in the news for hosting NBC’s 2022 Winter Olympics coverage, particularly when he pulled international double-duty by traveling from Beijing to Los Angeles to host the Super Bowl LVI broadcast.
But Tirico will also get to call golf’s biggest event this year. According to the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand (via his weekly Sports Clicker newsletter), Tirico will be the lead play-by-play announcer on SiriusXM’s broadcast of The Masters, April 7-10.
“Over the last 25 years I have been fortunate to cover so many unforgettable Masters moments,” said Tirico in SiriusXM’s official release. “I am thrilled to reconnect with Curtis, Steve and the great team that has been assembled for the SiriusXM broadcast. It is always great to be at Augusta National and an honor to be a part of the Masters broadcast.”
Analysts Curtis Strange and Steve Melnyk will join Tirico on the call, while Suzy Whaley, Fred Albers, Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, and John Maginnes will report from the course during SiriusXM’s coverage. Chantel McCabe, Jim McLean, Carl Paulson, Jason Sobel, and Taylor Zarzour will also contribute to the broadcast.
Working for NBC, Tirico wasn’t going to be a part of any Masters TV coverage. CBS and ESPN have TV rights to the event. But calling golf and anchoring coverage has been a significant part of the veteran broadcaster’s career. Beginning when he joined NBC in 2016, Tirico has been the lead voice on golf coverage for the netwok and The Golf Channel, performing both play-by-play and studio host roles.
“The Masters is always one of the most anticipated events on the sports calendar, annually capturing the attention of not only golf fans, but the wider population of sports fans everywhere,” said SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein. “We are thrilled to welcome Mike, Curtis, Steve and Suzy to our exceptional team of voices, and we’re proud to deliver our listeners a top-notch broadcast befitting such a special event.”
SiriusXM’s coverage of the 2022 Masters will broadcast April 7-10 on PGA Tour Radio (channel 92) and the SiriusXM app.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.