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October Sports Radio Ratings Across The Country

Jason Barrett

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The fall is one of the strongest periods of the year for the sports radio format. The recent information supplied to BSM confirms that a lot of stations are experiencing strong success as they head towards the finish line in 2016. For the month of October here’s what we learned.

  • In Minneapolis, KFAN may have produced the highest monthly in the entire country for sports radio. The radio station finished 1st M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54 with an incredible 17.4. Even more amazing, the brand came in 1st with 6+ delivering a phenomenal 8.9. That rating was 1.3 points higher than AC station KS95 who came in 2nd. The return of the Vikings has certainly helped but there’s much more to the brand’s success than just football games. All shows on the station led the market.
  • One brand that mirrors KFAN for monthly dominance is 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. The station ruled the local market yet again, turning in a 1st place finish among Men 25-54 M-Su 6a-Mid (15.9) and M-F 6a-7p (16.3). If that wasn’t enough, every show on the station was 1st with Men and Adults 25-54, and the brand gained four share points month to month. Mornings did a 17.6, middays an 18.7, and afternoons a 16.2. When you provide a 16 or 17 share and don’t lead your station, that tells you how powerful a brand is.
  • With the Patriots kicking off their 2016 campaign and the Red Sox advancing to the playoffs, ratings remained high in Boston. 98.5 The Sports Hub finished 1st with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (14.3) and M-Su 6a-Mid (12.8). Felger & Massarotti had The Hub’s best performance delivering a 17.2 in afternoons. Meanwhile WEEI also had a big month. The station was 2nd M-Su 6a-Mid and M-F 6a-7p delivering a 10 share in both demos which was two and a half points higher than their previous month. Kirk and Callahan was WEEI’s highest rated show delivering above a 12 share which was three and a half points higher than their previous month. One additional item of interest, among Men 35-64 WEEI remains the market leader. The Hub leads the way in the younger male demos.
  • Moving to St. Louis, 101 ESPN received some incredible news. Despite losing the Rams to Los Angeles and entering the fall without a local football team’s rights on the air for the first time since the station launched in 2009, the station’s performance didn’t miss a beat. 101 was dominant yet again, finishing 3rd M-Su 6a-Mid with Men 25-54 with more than a 7 share. Each of the station’s key weekday shows (Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler, The Turn, and The Fast Lane) recorded between a 7.5 and 9.2 and were inside the top 3. 101 ESPN continues to be the highest rated spoken word brand in the entire market despite not having the rights to one of the market’s local teams.
  • Shifting to Dallas, it was another positive month for 105.3 The Fan and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket. The Ticket finished 1st with Men 25-54 in both M-Su 6a-Mid (6.8) and M-F 6a-7p (8.7). The Fan was 2nd M-Su 6a-Mid (6.2) and 4th M-F 6a-7p (5.4). Among Men 18-34 The Fan (5.9 – 4th) remained ahead of The Ticket (5.3 – 5th) M-F 6a-7p. One other big positive, both stations weekday shows finished inside the Top 5. The Musers were the highest rated show on The Ticket finishing 1st in mornings with a 9.8. G-Bag Nation provided The Fan’s best performance, coming in 3rd in middays with a 6.5.
  • 97.1 The Fan continues to set the Columbus, Ohio market on fire. The station finished October in 1st place with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (14.3) and M-Su 6a-Mid (13.5). One additional item of interest, despite a ratings decline on television for the NFL, the same story didn’t ring true for The Fan. The station’s radio broadcasts of NFL games courtesy of Westwood One were 1st across the board. Sunday night football games recorded a 16.1. Monday Night football games delivered a 12.8, and Sunday afternoon games recorded a 9.4.
  • Over in Omaha, 1620 The Zone remains atop the local leaderboard. The station finished 5th with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (5.0) and 7th M-Su 6a-Mid (4.2). The station’s morning show featuring Gary Sharp and Damon Benning were 4th with a 6.8, middays with Nick Bahe were 9th with a 2.8, and afternoons with John Bishop and Josh Peterson were 5th with a 5.1.
  • Down in Tampa, despite dropping its local morning show for ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, WDAE remained in excellent shape. The radio station finished 4th among Men 25-54 M-Su 6a-mid with a 5.3.

As we gain additional information from other markets around the country we’ll keep you updated. Stations can send along updates via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

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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