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Jeff Riger Offers All Of Detroit His Cable Log In To Watch Tigers On Bally Sports App

“It would drive me nuts if I couldn’t watch those games.”

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As Sinclair and Charter square off over carriage of Bally Sports networks across the country, one Detroit radio host wonders how much of an effect this is actually having on fans.

“With all the different ways to get televised things and people cutting cords…How many people in the metro area cannot watch the Tigers on TV due to [the] broadcasting dispute?,” asked radio host Bob Wojnowski on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit on Wednesday.

Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley has been pursuing the launch of a DTC option amid interminable negotiations with Charter Communications to carry its broadcast channels, which the company plans to softly launch this spring. While a deal between Sinclair and Charter was completed yesterday, Sinclair will still move its RSNs into the streaming space while simultaneously maintaining a presence on traditional cable television.

“Obviously, I understand [that] the Tigers, the Pistons and the Red Wings [are] maybe not the greatest teams, but what else are you watching?,” asked Riger and Wojo Show co-host Jeff Riger. “It would drive me nuts if I couldn’t watch those games.”

Indeed, the state of sports in Detroit is in a rebuilding phase with the Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers all missing the playoffs in their last-completed seasons, respectively. Despite the rough times in sports, the Detroit fans have remained steadfast and unyielding in their allegiances to their teams. Amid economic inflation though, consumers are becoming more frugal in their spending habits by trying to allocate and use funds effectively tailored to their consumption habits. But as fans patiently wait for the launch of the streaming service, they have been left to pay for cable providers that carry the RSNs to continue to follow their favorite teams – and it has frustrated many.

One practice consumers are participating in is the illicit streaming of sporting events by looking for them on the internet. After Wojnowski read a Ticket Text on the air from a listener explaining that if you know where to look, there are many high-definition streams available, Riger made listeners a gracious offer in offering to reveal his cable login information on-the-air.

“I can give you my little login,” said Riger. “I’ll give all of Metro Detroit my login and you can watch the Wings; the Pistons; and the Tigers on the Bally App.”

Participating in illegal streaming practices causes regional sports networks and other affected parties to lose money, thus harming future broadcast rights agreements. Upon that realization, Riger hypothesized that it was precisely the reason why the Tigers missed out on signing shortstop Carlos Correa, who ultimately inked a deal with the American League Central-rival Minnesota Twins.

“Wait a second – do you think that’s why Carlos Correa isn’t in Detroit?,” Riger asked Wojnowski when discussing consumers finding online streams of games for free.

“Yep, I do,” replied Wojnowski.

“People – come on!,” exclaimed Riger to close out the segment.

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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