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Get Your List Together



As the great Eddie Murphy said in Trading Places: “Merry New Year!”

As much as I can’t stand the holiday season when it comes to being in advertising sales, I love the beginning of a new year – a clean slate – and nobody can say, “my budget is spent for the year.”

As Demetri Ravanos noted in his column (, it is a great time to take stock of your professional life, and that goes for everyone, but I think it is especially true on the sales side of sports media.

As the year winds down, we have the dreaded three-week period where nobody in the world wants to speak to us and then that second week of January hits and, all of a sudden, everyone needs everything immediately. So, hopefully, you have used this time to recharge the ol’ batteries, reflect on your year and plan for the year ahead.

I am big on making lists. At any given time, you can usually find several dozen, folded-in-half, pieces of paper with my lists on them, not to mention the hundreds of “To Do” emails I send to myself. As a very young General Manager, I was taught the job could be a struggle if you get buried in the minutiae, and I should constantly be making lists and prioritizing them so that my main focus is always on the most important items (IE the ones that drive revenue!). As my boss at the time put it: “Mark them A, B and C. The A’s should involve revenue, the B’s should be the most important other stuff and find a way to delegate the C’s or they’ll kill ya’.”

So, I have always been big on lists and here are some items that showed up on my first of the year list:

  • Be a better listener. I am a talker through and through so this is very difficult for me and something I constantly strive to be better at. The more we listen to our prospects and clients, the more we’ll be able to come up with the right solution for them. As a manager, the more we listen to our team, the more we can help them identify where they can improve so we can coach them and help them achieve their goals.
  • Be more creative. People like ideas and creativity. People like something new and flashy. People like custom made rather than the same cookie cutter approach. How many of your stations are planning to do the same exact events and promotions you did last year? Can one or two be refreshed, redone or reinvented? It’s a great time for us all to look ahead and see where we can improve events and promotions both for our listeners and for our sponsors. If we wait, we risk running out of time and allowing things to get stale.
  • Ask for more. Ask for more than we should. Ask for more opportunities. Ask for more from programming. Ask for more referrals. Ask for more weeks. Ask for more help. Ask for more from our teams. Ask for more from ourselves. And yes, ask for more money.
  • Be a bigger cheerleader for our industry. If we aren’t going to promote ourselves, who is going to do it? As a whole, we are very guilty of letting perceptions of a few become reality for too many. Know the radio story, tell the radio story. It is also very important to remember radio’s role in the community (you know, why it started in the first place), and use our giant megaphones to be great citizens and charitable partners (future column coming on how much I love to tie in cause related marketing!).
  • Learn more. Anyone in our industry who has stopped trying to learn should really think about a new career. Why even do something if you aren’t going to continuously get better at it? I had a colleague once who always posted items in his cubicle that he wanted to have:  a new car, a boat, a motorcycle, or a vacation destination. These pictures would motivate him to want to be better, so he could earn enough to get what he wanted. Trying to learn and get better needs to be a regular part of all our routines.

Hopefully, you have your list together and are focused on the year ahead with a strong plan for your professional growth. By just being a bit better than we were in 2017, we can all assure ourselves of having a very merry new year.

BSM Writers

Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC

“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”



NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade.  A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well.  However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).

NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season.  NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.

NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.  

Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.

Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.

If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.

“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”

Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.

Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm. 

“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”

While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.

Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock. 

Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week. 

My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic.  When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV.  Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams.  After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England.  They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.

I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.

I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters. 

By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.

Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.

Global Is Cool': The Growing Appeal of Premier League Soccer in America
Courtesy: Morning Consult

This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.

Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.”  NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise – Episode 45



Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.

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BSM Writers

6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio

“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”



For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.

Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?

A Pot of Gold Articles - Analyzing Metals
Courtesy: iStockphoto

Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

Well, let’s go Digging for Gold. 

The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.

Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.

If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way?  I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:

  • Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
  • Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
  • Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
  •,, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
  • FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $ 
  • Jos. A. Bank,,, we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months

The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details. 

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