Michigan Sports Network’s play-by-play voice for Wolverine football Jim Brandstatter voiced his concerns over the weekend regarding the fallout from allegations against former Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler. Brandstatter appeared on WWJ 950 with the comments transcribed by Detroit Sports Nation, saying he believes the claims Schembechler covered up sexual abuse complaints about team doctor Robert Anderson.
“Think about the people that are the most – the highest contributors for instance, to the University of Michigan. They’re probably in the ages of 45-50 to 75-80. They probably contribute a whole lot of money. And if one of their icons is – they feel unjustly being prosecuted, I don’t know if they’ll be as friendly with their money. Who knows? I don’t know. I’m just saying that I know a lot of people are disappointed that the University hasn’t come to the defense of some of these guys, but we’re in a society and environment of wokeness that, again, you and I both talked about, putting a bullseye on your back if you come out and defend someone.”
On Wednesday, the late Michigan coach’s son Matt claimed he was sexually assaulted by Anderson when he was 10, and when he told his father about it, he struck Matt in the chest. The following day, two former Michigan players Dan Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson said they too were violated by the doctor.
Jim Brandstatter, who played offensive tackle for Schembechler and later co-hosted Brandy and Bo with his ex-coach, inferred he believes the allegations are coming from a desire for compensation.
“What are you suing for? There’s a motivation. What’s the motivation? Well, you and I can talk about it, you just said it. Fear of being labeled the guy who is accusing the accuser – same thing with me. I just – Just ask the question. How much is there a compensatory, monetary settlement that you’re looking for? There’s a motivation there, I would think. I’m not trying to be mean or lawyer-like. I’m just saying, that’s a question that should be asked.”
Brandstatter has been a voice on Michigan football broadcasts since the mid-1980s.
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.