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The Fan and The Ticket Tie For 1st in Dallas

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With the Texas Rangers looking like they’re the team to beat in the American League, and the Dallas Cowboys returning for training camp, Dallas sports stations are enjoying strong listener interest in their local programming. In the August ratings book, both 105.3 The Fan and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket had reason to celebrate.

While the focus of this piece is to analyze each daypart and how the stations performed in numerous categories, what should really be highlighted is the fact that two sports stations are riding high atop the Men 25-54 category in the nation’s 5th largest market. We often praise the strong performances of brands in northeast markets, and rightfully so, but don’t lose sleep on what’s happening deep in the heart of Texas. Both The Ticket and The Fan are rolling out great lineups and content, and their consistency is a big reason why this matchup has become fun to watch.

In sizing up the local brands, here are the key takeaways for the month of August. The numbers below are in the Men 25-54 demographic and represent the over the air ratings. No additional streaming numbers were added to lift one station at the expense of the other.

M-Su 6a-Mid

  • The Ticket = 6.3 (tied for 1st)
  • The Fan = 6.3 (tied for 1st)
  • ESPN 103.3 = 1.9 (21st)

Two sports stations tied for 1st in the ratings for the overall week speaks to the power of the sports format in the Dallas market. A job well done by the staffs of The Ticket and The Fan.

M-F 6a-7p

  • The Ticket = 8.4 (1st)
  • The Fan = 5.9 (4th)
  • ESPN 103.3 = 2.1 (tied for 17th)

When they’re head to head in weekday prime hours, The Ticket continues to lead, but that advantage has shrunk in recent months. Just three months ago, the Ticket was nearly six points higher than The Fan. During that time The Fan has increased its share by 1.4 while The Ticket has lost two full points. None the less, The Ticket still remains ahead.

6a-10a

  • The Ticket (Musers) = 10.8 (1st)
  • The Fan (Shan & RJ) = 4.1 (6th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (Mike and Mike and 1-hour of Dan LeBatard) = 3.2 (tied for 10th)

*** The Musers continue to distance themselves from every morning show in the market. They were two solid points ahead of the runner up (a Mexican station) and have a commanding 6.7 share advantage over The Fan. That said, Shan & RJ are up nearly a full point over the past three months and they were just three tenths of a point away from being inside the Top 5. Mike and Mike have held steady over the past few months but remain the third top brand during the spring and summer months. It’ll be interesting to see if their heavy football focus leads to gaining ground during the fall.

10a-3p

  • The Ticket (Norm/Donovan and BaD Radio) = 6.6 (3rd)
  • The Fan (G-Bag Nation) = 6.4 (4th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio and Dennis & Friedo) = 1.2 (26th)

*** This race has really tightened in recent months and although The Ticket holds a two tenths of a point lead for August, this has to be an area of concern heading into the fall. Over the past three months, The Ticket has lost 2.5 points while The Fan has gained 1.8. Even more impressive is that G-Bag Nation have gone up and gained in the ratings during each of the past seven months. For ESPN 103.3 they’re a non-factor during this daypart, and have actually lost two tenths of a point during the past three months.

3p-7p

  • The Ticket (Hardline) = 8.3 (1st)
  • The Fan (Ben & Skin) = 6.7 (2nd)
  • ESPN 103.3 (Cowlishaw and Mosley and ESPN Radio) = 2.2 (18th)

*** This is another competitive daypart between both brands and for The Ticket they have to be pleased with the continued success of The Hardline. The show has not been under an 8 share since January, and has finished 1st during every ratings book in 2016. Their one challenge though will be the Fall which was where they experienced a drop last year. Meanwhile for The Fan, they’ve got to be pleased with Ben & Skin who are only 1.6 behind The Ticket, and who have gained a little more than a point over the past three months. Last fall they beat The Hardline in the September, October, and November books, so if they can create a repeat performance it could help the radio station close out 2016 in strong fashion. Once again ESPN 103.3 is a distant third.

7P-11p

  • The Fan (Texas Rangers/K&C Masterpiece) = 9.6 (1st)
  • The Ticket (Ticket Top 10/Ferrall On The Bench) = 2.4 (20th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio) = 2.0 (22nd)

*** Want to know if the Texas Rangers are making a difference? Look at the disparity during the evenings between The Fan and their two competitors. Rangers baseball is absolutely delivering an impact, and playing an integral role in helping the station perform strongly not only at night, but during the entire M-SU 6a-Mid battle. For The Ticket and ESPN 103.3 they’re way down the ladder in evenings.

There are many ways to spin the numbers from The Fan and The Ticket’s perspectives, but what should be front and center is how important it is for advertisers to buy BOTH stations. They each connect strong (but with different demographics) and given the performance turned in by both stations, if a client wants to maximize their potential in reaching Dallas sports fans, it’s smart business to invest in both stations.

When you look at it from The Ticket’s perspective, they’re going to concentrate on M-F 6a-7p because it’s what their brand does best. They win all three key dayparts head to head during the week against The Fan, and hold claim to two of their shows ranking 1st. They also tied for 1st during the overall week despite not carrying play by play. That’s outstanding. Adding to their story is the fact that they perform well with the older part of the 25-54 demographic. That can be used to their benefit when talking to clients who are trying to reach the decision makers in various households.

If you’re inside the offices of The Fan, you’re going to highlight your overall M-SU 6a-Mid performance where you’re tied for 1st overall in the market. You’re going to use the power of carrying the Rangers and Cowboys to your advantage, and you’re going to point out that two of your three weekday shows are rated in the top 5, and the other is in 6th and only two tenths of a point away. That’s another impressive story to share. When you add in that The Fan is 6th overall with Persons 25-54 (ahead of The Ticket who finished 8th) and tied for 1st overall with Men 18-34 (The Ticket is 14th) you can build a case that the brand is not only built for the present, but is in stronger shape for the future.

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Doug Gottlieb, Nick Wright Feud Over College Sports NIL Issues

“Gottlieb caught wind of Wright’s rant and let his disapproval be known.”

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FOX Sports hosts Doug Gottlieb and Nick Wright definitely do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to money going to college athletes.

Despite both being employed by the same company, Gottlieb, who is never afraid to voice his opinion, fired back at Wright Friday regarding his take on college football’s NIL rule in the wake of Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s claiming Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher “brought” his recruits.

On Wright’s morning show, First Things First, the colorful broadcaster had a two minute rant about how he’s happy that schools are finding workarounds under the new NIL rules implemented by the NCAA to pay the players for their name, image and likeness. He said the universities have been taking advantage of college athletes, particularly black student athletes from rough backgrounds, for years and now that the tide has shifted, people are freaking out.

“The general sports public wants extra regulations and extra rules, is keeping their thumbs on college football and basketball players because their is an undeniable and always has been an incredibly uncomfortable racial context of the guys,” Wright said. “It’s mostly young black men from mostly really tough circumstances, generating billions of dollars. Who’s sharing in that?” Wright asked.

“An overwhelmingly white administration, an overwhelmingly white coaching staff, and an overwhelmingly white non-revenue sports. How do we pay for the tennis team and golf team, ah men’s football and basketball. What do they get? A scholarship. Be happy, we pulled you out the hood. Maybe you’ll have a better life if somehow you make the league or do something with your education.”

Gottlieb caught wind of Wright’s rant and let his disapproval be known. That resulted in a back and forth between the two sports personalities on Twitter.

Gottlieb continued, claiming the NIL rule puts exceedingly high expectations on the student-athletes before ever stepping on campus and are given something without having to “earn it.”

“The sad part is this push to pay SAs before they have even played a game, taken a class or assimilated to a school sets them up for failure in their post sports career. If you have been given before you earn, where is the motivation when you get to the real world?”

Wright then took a shot at Gottlieb, saying it always feels good that his take is the complete opposite of Gottlieb’s.

The dialogue continued with Gottlieb throwing shots at Wright, calling his take “embarrassing” and mentioning how he failed to point out the educational imbalance in society during his take. Wright asked Gottlieb what are some of the other “fake racism” takes that he claims are out in the media.

Gottlieb is no stranger to conflict with his FOX Sports colleagues. Troy Aikman called his opinion on Andrew Luck’s retirement “total bullshit” in a tweet from 2019. More recently, Gottlieb got into it with Speak for Yourself co-host Emmanuel Acho after Gottlieb ripped his brother Sam’s “Top 5 QB list” on First Take. He also called out Skip Bayless for name-calling.

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Bob Cousy: ‘JJ Redick Is Untalented Using Me To Get Attention On ESPN’

“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.

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Celtics legend Bob Cousy was not too happy with J.J. Redick dissing his game and credibility as an all-time great player.

During an appearance on First Take, Redick got into a fiery debate with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about whether Chris Paul deserves to be mentioned among the best point guards in NBA history despite another disappointing exit from the playoffs. Russo claimed that Paul is “no Bob Cousy” which prompted Redick to retort, saying Cousy couldn’t even dribble with his left hand and called the players he played against, “plumbers” and “firemen.”

“Bob Cousy won championships when there were eight teams in the NBA and you had to win two playoff series,” Reddick said. “Let’s celebrate Bob Cousy in his era, but you can’t compare pre-1980 with the modern NBA.”

The 93-old Cousy made an appearance on SiriusXM Radio where he went scorched earth on Redick, basically calling the ESPN analyst “untalented” while listing some of the players that he went up against in his era.

“People with less talent will always try to make a name for themselves by criticizing other people and hopefully getting some attention and perhaps increasing their credibility,” Cousy said.

“So when you respond to something like this, you play into their hands. I won’t do that, but I will defend the firemen and the plumbers that he referenced. And I’ll just give you a few of the names of these firemen that I played with and against during those years. How about Bill Russell, the aforementioned, not too bad a player. Wilt Chamberlain, remember that guy? He wasn’t bad. I guess he must have fought fires as well. But in any event, Wilt Chamberlain.

“Still the best, in my judgment, small forward that ever played the game, a guy named Elgin Baylor. A couple of point guards that weren’t too shabby, my colleague who also had an award created [in his name], guy named Oscar Robertson, who was pound for pound the best player perhaps in the game.”

Chris Paul is a 12-time All-Star compared to Cousy’s 13 appearances.

One thing Paul and Bob Cousy do have in common is their aptitude for leadership. Cousy developed and started the NBA players union in 1954, being named its first president. Paul served in that same role from 2013-2021.

The two men also share similarities off the court. Cousy was a stanch anti-racist advocate during the civil rights era 50s and 60s, when it wasn’t all that popular to so. Paul has also spoke out on issues regarding race, working with commissioner Adam Silver to address some of the issues facing the black community.

Maybe the two have more in common than either Redick or Russo would like to admit.

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Cole Cubelic: ‘A Lot Of Media Wasn’t Prepared To Talk About Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher’

“There were multiple other messages that were attempted to be delivered by Nick Saban two nights ago that I don’t think anybody paid attention to, and I’m wondering if Jimbo paid attention to them.”

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The comments from Alabama football coach Nick Saban regarding other teams allegedly “buying” their players through the new rules pertaining to name, image and likeness (NIL) deals has set the college football world abuzz.

In his comments, Saban directly accused Texas A&M Head Coach and one of his former assistant coaches at Louisiana State University Jimbo Fisher of unreasonably using NIL deals to recruit college football players, and remarked that the system as a whole has created a fundamental disadvantage for certain programs. Additionally, he stated that Alabama has never tried to lure a player solely based on these deals; however, he left the door open to potentially having to adjust his recruitment strategy to align with the actions of his competitors around him.

Much of the college football world weighed in on the comments, but the voice everyone was waiting to hear was that of Jimbo Fisher, including McElroy and Cubic in the Morning on Jox 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Ala. On Friday morning, the program opened with show co-host Cole Cubelic reacting to the candid response given by Fisher in a news conference carried on multiple media outlets in which Fisher called Saban a “narcissist.”

“When we’ve had coaching feuds before, we’ve had guys go back and forth; we’ve had guys go at one another, sometimes in a little bit more of a subtle way; sometimes maybe a less-confrontational way,” Cubelic said. “Jimbo even said it yesterday – he’s not afraid of confrontation; he’s not worried about it.”

An aspect of what has made this discordance between two highly-accomplished and eminent coaches a story being followed across the college football landscape is the fact that it has taken place within the public sphere. When Saban appeared on SiriusXM Radio and apologized for singling out Texas A&M in his comments from earlier in the week, there was not much emotion involved, according to Cubelic. Fisher’s remarks in his press conference though, were of a completely different sentiment – and may have escalated the situation altogether.

“Debates often turn to arguments as soon as emotions become involved,” Cubelic said. “…Jimbo Fisher yesterday at 10 a.m. – that felt emotional; that felt personal, and that one had to dig deep. Jimbo Fisher said yesterday he doesn’t anticipate things are going to be repaired. I don’t see in a way that these two sort of get things back in line.”

“The bridge is burned both ways,” added show co-host Greg McElroy. “They’ll probably shake hands; do what they need to do pregame. But as far as any love lost? Nah, that’s a wrap.”

A part of this story that remains seminal when reporting or commenting on it is listening to the full extent of the comments from both Saban and Fisher on the situation so as to more effectively contextualize and comprehend the situation. Cubelic said that he did multiple interviews on different programs yesterday, and some of the interviewers, as he anticipated, had solely listened to portions of the comments, rendering them not completely prepared to have a truly pertinent discussion about the topic at hand.

“We said it here on the show yesterday morning — right out of the gate — people are going to take the Miami; the Jackson State; and the Texas A&M stuff, and they’re going to clip it and they’re going to play it and they’re going to read it and that’s all they’re going to pay attention to,” said Cubelic. “There were multiple other messages that were attempted to be delivered by Nick Saban two nights ago that I don’t think anybody paid attention to, and I’m wondering if Jimbo paid attention to them.”

Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies visit Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 8 in a matchup that will sure to be a primary topic of discussion in the weeks and months leading to kickoff.

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