Another round of civil litigation was filed against Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson on Monday, making it 24 lawsuits filed against the former Houston Texan. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Sports Radio 610 in Houston was mentioned in that new lawsuit. Comments made by Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, on Payne and Pendergast last week, in which Hardin said receiving sexual favors from a massage therapist wasn’t illegal as long as no additional money was exchanged, was specifically included in this case.
On In The Loop on Monday, host Landry Locker didn’t understand why the criminality aspect was the focus of Hardin’s comments.
“The criminal stuff’s behind you, sir. Anybody that’s talking about this knows, Rusty, that there’s not going to be criminal charges,” Locker said. “That’s been established. There have been two grand juries that have said there’s not criminal charges. But he’s going on this rant, and it’s almost like he’s giving like his closing testimony to a judge in a criminal trial.”
Locker wondered if it was a case of Hardin being out of his element, as he tends to focus his practice on criminal law and not civil matters.
“It’s like an Olympian who runs 200 meters,” Locker said. “You don’t ask them to run the 100.”
Locker and co-host John Lopez both agreed that the comments, which circulated media and social media last week, hurt Watson’s case more with the NFL. The league is investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct against Watson and will determine if, and for how long, he’ll be suspended for.
Lopez went on to note that it was interesting that Hardin has all of a sudden been more active in the press working on Watson’s behalf.
“It’s a little bit ironic that he’s criticizing Tony Busby for all this social media, and the press conferences and coming on the radio when he’s doing it too,” Lopez said. “Rusty’s doing it too, but I think he doesn’t necessarily want to. But he’s working for the client, and that’s his best route to maybe defending him in the court of public opinion.”
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.