As the 2022 Major League Baseball season approaches, the New York Mets have been involved in many developments regarding the new media platforms on which its broadcasts (and MLB product) are offered. The latest is on the audio side.
Audacy will become the Mets’ exclusive digital streaming home for the team’s audio broadcasts as part of an expanded broadcast partnership. The Audacy app will become the exclusive home of Mets radio broadcasts from flagship station WCBS Newsradio 880.
Both English- and Spanish-language Mets broadcasts will be available on the Audacy app within the team’s market territory and on Mets.com as of April 7, MLB’s Opening Day for the 2022 season.
Additionally, WCBS 880’s Spanish-language broadcasts will also air on ESPN 1050 (WEPN) as part of a new content sharing agreement between the stations. ESPN 1050 wil air all regular-season and postseason broadcasts produced by WCBS for the 2022 season.
Howie Rose calls play-by-play with Wayne Randazzo on the Mets’ English-language audio broadcasts. For the Spanish-language broadcasts, Max Perez Jimenez and Nestor Rosario are the team’s announcing crew.
“Following one of the most successful offseasons in franchise history, we’re thrilled to gear up for the 2022 season by making our outstanding coverage of the Mets even more accessible to millions of local fans,” shared Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy New York. “In the car, on their phone or however they may be listening – in English or in Spanish – the Amazin’ faithful will now have the ability to seamlessly catch every pitch during what is sure to be an exciting season.”
“We continue to enjoy a great partnership with Audacy and their ability to reach Mets fans,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in the official announcement. “We are also thrilled with the different platforms, both in English and Spanish, that will give our fans the opportunity to follow the team for each and every game.”
SNY recently announced that Mets TV broadcasts would be available for in-market streaming on the network’s new app and can be accessed with TV provider credentials. The Mets have also been in the news for their second game being exclusively available on Apple TV+ as part of the tech company’s new streaming deal with MLB. That will likely deprive several fans of watching Max Scherzer’s debut with the team.
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.