Sportsnet 590 The Fan is adding reinforcements to Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown. The Toronto sports radio station has announced that McCown’s afternoon program will add Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet Hockey Central insider and analyst John Shannon and Stephen Brunt as co-hosts. Shannon will appear daily between 4-5p ET. Deitsch and Brunt will visit between 5p-7p ET. To make the situation work, Deitsch has confirmed he’s relocating to Toronto.
“Stephen and Richard are two of the most prominent, well-respected sports journalists in North America,” said Dave Cadeau, national format director of sports, Rogers Media. “Their insight, knowledge and experience will make for fantastic discussion – and debate – with Bob. We have the most educated sports fans in Canada tuning in to Prime Time Sports on a daily basis, and with a combination of these three in the booth, they will create the most intelligent and thoughtful show in sports talk radio.”
McCown signed a contract extension with the station this past December. He has hosted Prime Time Sports since 1989, becoming the most listened to sports radio personality in Canada during that time. During the last ratings check he was 1st in average minute audience with Men 12+ and 25-54.
Brunt returns to the co-host chair after spending the past two years on The Jeff Blair Show. He has over 30 years of experience in sports media as an author, host and award-winning journalist. Deitsch meanwhile has over 20 years of experience in sports media including spending the past two decades at Sports Illustrated working in nearly every division as a writer and editor.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me and I’m a huge fan of Toronto, having visited the city often since my days as a college student in Buffalo,” said Deitsch. “It has been a thrill to get to know Bob McCown, a legitimate sports broadcasting icon in North America, and other staffers at Sportsnet 590 The FAN, and I look forward to making the transition from a regular guest on Prime Time Sports to the chair next to him. I think this is going to be a lot of fun, hopefully not only for me but also for the loyal Prime Time Sports listeners.”
The changes also include Damien Cox taking on an expanded role at Sportsnet. The award-winning journalist will continue to appear on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, write regular columns for sportsnet.ca and appear regularly on television.
For more information on Prime Time Sports including to hear Deitsch and Brunt’s appearances with McCown announcing the news click here.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.