Mike Taylor, longtime radio host for 760 The Ticket in San Antonio, has covered Kawhi Leonard’s lengthy feud with the Spurs and does so by defending the league’s most successful team over the last two decades. When an outsider weighed in on the situation and offered sympathy for the Kawhi camp, the popular San Antonio morning host made sure to call him out.
On Monday, when talking about Tony Parker departing for Charlotte, Fox Sports Radio host Colin Cowherd said the Spurs and Gregg Popovich’s system prevented Parker from garnering credit as a star player. Cowherd used Parker being overshadowed by Popovich as a reason why Leonard is smart to get of San Antonio.
On his Tuesday show, San Antonio’s Mike Taylor took exception to Cowherd’s sentiment, arguing Parker got the attention and credit he deserved, blaming the national media for wanting to focus on larger markets. Within Texas, Parker was considered a great point guard unrelated to his head coach and better than Steve Nash.
“Another one of these national guys that doesn’t know jack-S about us because he never paid attention to us until now,” said Taylor. “You don’t get to ignore the Spurs for 20 years and then all of a sudden come in here with some cockamamie made up opinion”
Trying to prove San Antonio players will always be underrated, Cowherd pointed to Leonard’s $500,000 shoe deal, when a lesser player like James Harden in the same state has a $200 million deal with Adidas. “Everybody knows that Kawhi Leonard only had a $500,000 shoe deal because Kawhi Leonard’s a weird ass,” argued Taylor, noting that when Leonard goes to a major market he still won’t sign a large deal.
Taylor acknowledged the national media would prefer to see Leonard in Los Angeles with LeBron because it’s a bigger market and better story. Regarding Cowherd, it “benefits his radio show to have all the elite players in all of the elite markets,” said Taylor.
There is no question if Tony Parker had his identical career in New York or Los Angeles, he would be thought of in a different light, but Taylor took issue with Cowherd blaming Popovich and offering any defense for Leonard wanting out.
During his rant, Taylor also jumped on Cowherd for not pronouncing Manu correctly when he said Ginobili was just as underrated as Parker and Leonard are. “I like Cowherd, but that was a dog-ass segment you just heard he did, it was his worst segment I’ve ever heard him do,” said Taylor “Even if you wanna give me a stupid…dumb segment like that, even if you wanna completely unjustify the $7 million you get paid a year, at least say the guys name right while you’re being totally wrong about what you’re saying in the process”
Taylor did reiterate that he likes Cowherd and will continue to listen to the show. The Mike Taylor Show airs on 760 The Ticket weekdays from 6-9am, with Cowherd’s syndicated show broadcasting on the same station from 11am-2pm.
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.