Entercom is entering into a content distribution partnership with The Action Network. The agreement between the two companies will give the Action Network an opportunity to expose their talent and content to listeners on RADIO.COM Sports, and across 35 all-sports stations under the Entercom umbrella.
“We are committed to make RADIO.COM Sports and our local broadcast stations the #1 destination for fans to access the very best sports betting information available,” said Mike Dee, President of Sports, Entercom. “Nobody is better at informing the sports bettor in this fast-growing space than The Action Network. This partnership serves to align their personalities and best-in-class platform with the massive scale of our broadcast portfolio as well as our new highly targeted sports betting digital programming. The Action Network’s contributions to further enhance our You Better You Bet daily podcast will now take that show to the next level as the premier digital audio destination for sports betting enthusiasts.”
“We are thrilled to bring our extensive offering of dynamic sports betting and fantasy content to this partnership,” said Patrick Keane, CEO, The Action Network. “We believe in audio as a vehicle for fueling the growth of our brands and products. Entercom offered the unique blend of massive reach broadcast distribution combined with the expertise and track record in digital we believe will enable us to amplify what we do and reach more sports betting consumers who will ultimately become future Action Network subscribers.”
The new partnership will include the introduction of a new feature “The Action Network Daily Flash” during afternoon drive shows on RADIO.COM sports stations. The short feature will provide updates on the evening’s betting odds. Reports will be delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays throughout the regular season by hosts of You Better You Bet.
Additionally, weekly versions of “The Action Network Flashes” will be included within the streams of broadcast sports stations Wednesdays through Saturdays to lead into the weekend games. High-profile contributors from The Action Network will also appear on RADIO.com sports stations on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the season to discuss sports betting headlines and the latest betting lines for the upcoming weekend’s games.
The Action Network will also become a prominent content contributor within the RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network. Action Network personalities Stuckey and Collin Wilson will serve as weekly co-hosts of the You Better You Bet live show on Thursdays, producing a standalone college football podcast from 5p to 6:30p ET. The Sunday edition of You Better You Bet will include a branded hour “The Action Network – Countdown to Kickoff” from 12p to 1p ET, featuring Chad Millman and veteran bookmaker Bob Scucci.
As part of the partnership, RADIO.COM will also become a distribution partner for The Action Network’s podcasts, including The Action Network Podcast and The Favorites.
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.