A new sports radio station is coming to Philadelphia. This one though will offer a local program that focuses on sports betting related content.
The new station which is being billed as ‘FOX Sports Radio – The Gambler’ will air on 102.5 FM and 1480 AM and feature a mixture of nationally syndicated programming and local coverage led by Philadelphia sports media personality, Sean Brace. Brace is the founder of Philly Influencer, a sports and culture website. He spent over nine years at 97.5 The Fanatic including hosting alongside current WIP afternoon host Jon Marks. His new program The Daily Ticket is expected to air weekdays from 3pm to 6pm RET.
“I’m not picking winners, I’m not telling you who to take. My goal is to give you as much information as I can and try to be entertaining at the same time,” Brace told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m not taking calls. No calls. Just straight information about the games that matter and talking about the odds, the prop bets, the futures. All of that.”
iHeartMedia’s move into into the market with a different type of content spin makes sense given the legalization of sports betting in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. FOX Sports also announced plans to launch FOX Bet in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so there should be some natural synergies for the two companies to explore.
“Whether you’re heading to Atlantic City or one of our four local sports books, we’ll have what you need to keep you informed,” Senior VP of Sales Jeff Moore, said in a release. “It’ll be a great mix of national sports talk icons with the local edge to inform and entertain the gambling audience in a groundbreaking way.”
In addition to installing Brace in afternoons, the station’s remaining lineup to start off will feature Fox Sports Radio’s national shows. Here’s the full schedule.
- 6 a.m. – Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis
- 9 a.m. – The Dan Patrick Show
- 12 p.m. – The Herd with Colin Cowherd
- 3 p.m. – The Daily Ticket with Sean Brace
- 6 p.m. – Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell
- 7 p.m. – The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker
- 10 p.m. – The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon
- 2 a.m. – The Ben Maller Show
An interesting nugget provided by Brace’s website mentioned that ‘The Gambler’ plans to air 97.5 The Fanatic midday host Anthony Gargano’s weekly syndicated Fox Sports Radio show The Fellas, which he hosts with former Pro Bowler Lincoln Kennedy. Given the increase in local sports radio competition, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see The Fanatic or Gargano re-evaluate that situation in the near future.
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.