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670 The Score, ESPN 1000 Take Hits In Chicago’s Spring Ratings Book

“The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7.”

Brandon Contes

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The spring ratings period from March 26 through June 17 was overall less than impressive for Chicago’s two sports stations. Still, the total drop-off was minimal considering COVID-19 forced a sports shutdown, with some shows even outperforming their winter numbers. 

According to Nielsen Audio, the stations were in a tight race for weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p). The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7. In comparison, both stations did a 3.3 in the winter book, which largely took place before the sports hiatus.

In morning drive, The Score’s Mully and Haugh finished the book in 13th place with a 2.8, down from their 4.5 winter number. Year-over-year, Mully and Haugh dropped nearly five points from the 2019 spring book which occurred while the Cubs were in action. ESPN 1000’s simulcast of Golic and Wingo placed ninth in their final book as morning co-hosts. Surprisingly, the show saw a ratings increase in the spring with a 4.3 share, up a half point from the winter book. 

For a national host, Golic developed a solid connection with the Chicago audience, in-part thanks to his 18 years with Mike Greenberg, who launched his radio career at The Score in the early ‘90s. But with Greeny having left ESPN Radio’s morning show in 2017, and Golic on his way out next month, a new trio of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti are set to take over the national airwaves. 

Will they get the chance to compete in Chicago? With Good Karma Brands now in control of ESPN 1000, it will be interesting to see if the company elects to go local in mornings or continue featuring network programming courtesy of their partnership with the worldwide leader.

From 9a – noon, both stations were again in a tight ratings battle. ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan finished 12th with a 2.9, while Dan Bernstein was right behind with a 2.8 for The Score. Kap & Company dropped from a 3.5 share in the winter, while Bernstein was up almost a half point from what was his final book with co-host Connor McKnight. 

The noon – 2p timeslot went to The Score, as Laurence Holmes fared well during the sports hiatus, tied for 11th with a 3.1 share which was up from his 2.9 in the winter book. For ESPN 1000, Carmen & Jurko dipped from a 3.2 share during the winter, to a 19th place finish and a 2.4 rating in the spring book.

Rounding out the weekday lineup, The Score finished 13th from 2 – 6p as their afternoon show with Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins earned a 3.1 share, a slight drop from their 3.4 over the winter. ESPN 1000’s afternoon duo of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman finished tied for 18th with a 2 share. But more importantly, it was great to hear Silvy has been able to continue co-hosting the afternoon show on ESPN 1000 while battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a diagnosis he revealed in late April.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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