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Again, Kay & Francesa Both Claim Ratings Victory

“However you want to clarify which show won the quarter, sports radio in New York is thriving.”

Brandon Contes

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Congratulations to Mike Francesa and The Michael Kay Show.  For the second straight ratings book, both New York afternoon drive sports radio shows will claim victory, with headlines for each stating they’re number 1.

According to Nielsen, in the male 25-54 demo that both stations primarily use, Francesa’s show garnered a 6.6 share with his digital stream included and a 6.1 without.  The Michael Kay Show earned a 6.4 share with the digital stream included and does not report their number without.  Because WFAN’s terrestrial and digital ratings are reported separately, whereas ESPN combines the two numbers, Nielsen releases the rating as a 6.4 for The Kay Show and a 6.1 for Francesa, with an additional 0.5 for his digital stream.

Last spring, WFAN out-rated ESPN 6.0 to 5.4 while Francesa was in afternoon drive for only two-thirds of that book, returning to his afternoon drive post on May 1st.  There was not as much mention of a digital audience in the ratings recap stories written a year ago.

However you want to clarify which show won the quarter, sports radio in New York is thriving.  With Francesa garnering a 6.6 rating and The Kay Show a 6.4, it wasn’t that long ago that New York afternoon drive sports radio was bringing in numbers that were two full points lower.  In last year’s winter ratings book, The Michael Kay Show earned a 4.4 share and WFAN’s afternoon show did a 4.3 during Francesa’s short-lived retirement. 

The ratings discussion between The Michael Kay Show and Mike Francesa will be put on hold until December, when the next meaningful quarter is tallied.  The less scrutinized summer ratings book will feature numerous vacations from Francesa and Michael Kay’s recovery from vocal cord surgery.  

Kay is currently forced to remain silent for three weeks following last week’s surgery to correct an issue with his vocal cord.  Hopefully the Yankee announcer and ESPN radio host is back in full force for the start of the fall book when the New York afternoon drive ratings battle heats up again.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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