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Ken Carman, Anthony Lima React to Kevin Burkhardt As Fox’s New No. 1 NFL Voice

“I don’t think many of our fans even know who he is. And again, I think he’s very good. But, like, way more know who Gus Johnson is.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Kevin Burkhardt is set to become the new lead play-by-play voice for NFL games on Fox, though the network has yet to make a formal announcement. This comes after the departure of Joe Buck for ESPN.

On Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan, Ken Carman and Anthony Lima offered their reaction to the news. Lima feels like Burkhardt is a voice local fans are unfamiliar with from a football standpoint, considering more of the Browns’ games during the season air on CBS.

“I don’t think many of our fans even know who he is,” Lima said. “And again, I think he’s very good. But, like, way more know who Gus Johnson is.”

Carman said that given the big names that have shuffled around this offseason and the kind of money attached to those big names, it seemed like Fox was kind of tied to promoting from within.

“Wouldn’t you rather build through your own farm system? There’s only so many big names that you can go out and poach and pay $15 million a year to,” he said. “And so if you’re Fox you’re going, ‘He does a solid job. Let’s bump Kevin Burkhardt up.’ It’s a bit of a gamble.”

Carman added that the unfamiliarity factor would be good for the network and its audience. He felt like Burkhardt would do a fine job calling Super Bowls, which he’ll do in two of the next three years.

“He’s not the biggest name, but he’s very good and he’s very polished,” he said, adding that Burkhardt’s cadence fits the stage. “I think he would provide the right amount of ‘Here it is, away you go’ and let the Super Bowl take over.”

A formal announcement of Fox’s new number one NFL broadcast team will likely be coming once the network has chosen a color commentator. That vacancy came open following Troy Aikman’s own exit to ESPN, eventually joining Buck on Monday Night Football.

The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima ranked No. 1 on the BSM Top 20 Mid Market Morning Shows of 2021 list.

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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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