Back in February, Jim Nantz and Sir Nick Faldo interviewed Tiger Woods at the GENESIS Invitational and Woods gave no indication when he would come back to the PGA Tour during what ended up being a 45-50 minute conversation with him in the booth.
Well, Tiger is back playing at The Masters Thursday morning for a 10:34 AM ET tee time. It’s safe to say Nantz was one of the many people surprised by that news.
Nantz was on The Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday and said that he went to see Woods a few weeks after the tournament in Riviera and said he got no indication that playing in the Masters was going to happen For Tiger.
“I was down in Jupiter, Florida, this was after the GENESIS. I got no indication that what’s about to unfold here was in the offing. I did not get the sense that he was going to play here.”
Jim Nantz was in Jupiter to talk to Tiger Woods for a special that will air on CBS at 1 PM ET Sunday as Woods looks back at his first Masters win 25 years ago. The special will air right before the live final-round coverage and Nantz said this special will have viewers see a side of Tiger they have never seen before.
“I think it’s fair to say, I’ve known him since he was 16, you are going to see a side of Tiger you’ve never seen before in that hour. He has an era of nostalgia. He’s very open-hearted about that week. He was just outstanding and gracious. I loved that time with him.”
While Nantz had no indication a comeback to the PGA Tour for Woods was as close as it now is, he saw that the 15-time major winner still had the hunger to be great just by what happened the day he showed up to interview Tiger for the special.
“The day I saw him, we delayed when we were going to meet until 11 o’clock because he had a workout. When I saw him for the first time that day, I said man, how are you doing? He said he had been up since 6 and that he had gone after it hard for 4 hours and he cleaned up and got dressed for the interview. Point is, this guy’s just different. The hunger to be great. There’s just no one out there like him.”
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.