Columbus sports radio was alive and well in the summer book. The market’s leading brand, 97.1 The Fan, enjoyed strong performances across the board. The station finished 1st in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 12.8 share. A 1st place finish was also produced for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) courtesy of an 11.6 share. All numbers in this article are for Men 25-54 unless noted otherwise.
The weekday shows produced similar stories. One of the most dominant performances for the quarter came from the afternoon show, Common Man and T-Bone. Mike Ricordati and Jonathan Smith delivered a station best 18.0 share to finish 1st overall in afternoons from 3p-6p. The show also picked up an incredible 3.2 points year over year.
The next best performing show on the station was the midday team of Beau Bishop and James Laurinaitis. Their 9a-12p show also took 1st during the hours of 9a-12p with a 12.2 share. The midday show also grew year over year, gaining 2.5 points and moving up from 3rd.
During the hours of Noon to 3p ET, the station’s combination of Anthony Rothman and Matt ‘Ice’ Hayes produced an 11.8 share to secure 1st place. The only minor setback for the show was the loss of 1.1 points year over year. Given that they’re popping double digit shares and locking up 1st place finishes in the summer of 2020 and 2021, I’m sure they won’t lose any sleep over it.
The one show for the quarter that didn’t finish 1st was the morning show. The Morning Juice with Brandon Beam and Bobby Carpenter came in 5th with a 6.9 between the hours of 6a-9a. The show did though gain two tenths of a point year over year.
A few other nuggets from the book worth passing along. The Fan’s full week production among Adults 25-54 placed them 4th with a 7.0 share. They were also 3rd for the full week with Persons 12+ with a 6.9. In weekday prime, the station tied for 3rd place with an 8.2 share with Adults 25-54 and came in 3rd with Persons 12+ with a 7.7. Even more impressive was the performance of Common Man and T-Bone with both of those categories. The show was 1st overall in afternoons with an 11.6 with Adults 25-54, and 1st overall with Persons 12+ with a 9.0 share.
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.