The Comcast Network is preparing to launch something new for local television starting on April 6: a sports talk morning show, called Breakfast on Broad. The show is set to have a conversational tone and will include morning news staples like traffic and weather.
Breakfast on Broad is a new foray into original programming for the Comcast Network, rebranded from CN8 in 2009. Currently, the network is best known for hosting games of local sports teams — in place of its sister station, Comcast SportsNet — when the Phillies, Flyers and/or Sixers play at the same time.
The show, which will air from 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays and repeat on Comcast SportsNet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is to be hosted by Rob Ellis, who on Tuesday night announced he was leaving his job as a host on Sportsradio 94WIP. He’ll be joined by Sarah Baicker, currently a Flyers reporter and digital producer at Comcast SportsNet; Jillian Mele, who has been a traffic reporter at NBC10; and former Eagles offensive lineman and Comcast SportsNet contributor Barrett Brooks.
Breakfast on Broad aims to avoid the straight-news feel of SportsNet Central, the current Comcast SportsNet local morning news show, which will continue to air. The intent of the new program is to favor opinion and discussion, sometimes centering on the softer side of local sports, including what athletes are doing off the field, and what they are saying on Twitter.
Brian Monihan, general manager of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, sees the two shows as complements to each other. SportsNet Central is what happened in last night’s game, he said, while Breakfast on Broad is about “why and what others think about it.”
Ellis sees the show as an extension of his previous work at WIP. “It’s like radio on television because of the opinion-driven content,” Ellis said. He noted that he wanted to return to the Comcast SportsNet family after years of producing Daily News Live and that factors including his changing schedule at WIP contributed to his decision to make the change, which he made clear on his final broadcast, saying “I’m not thrilled about some of the things that have gone down [at the station].” Brian Haddad will replace Ellis on WIP until the Phillies return, according to Marc Rayfield, senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio/Philadelphia.
The focus on the off-the-field interests of athletes — Baicker threw out references to an Eagle who hangs out at music venue Union Transfer (such as linebacker Connor Barwin) or a Flyer who likes to go to Old City bars — reflects a change in sports media as a whole.
“People can see players off the field more so than ever [through their social media feeds],” said Brooks, a 12-year NFL veteran who retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. “You now can’t go to a restaurant and not have someone tweet that you were there or take a selfie with you. That’s not something I needed to go through, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.”
The media has followed suit on the way they cover athletes.
“TMZ Sports has broken a number of stories that have really been, I wouldn’t say earth shattering, but have made the traditional sports media sit up and take notice,” said Karen Weaver, associate clinical professor and interim program director of sports management at Drexel University. “The celebritization of our culture is merging sports and entertainment.”
While there are a few original shows on the Comcast Network currently, including one about the Philadelphia Union, Breakfast on Broad is the first major step to return original programming to the Comcast Network.
“At first you have to succeed,” Monihan said about whether this be followed by more original programming on the station. “We feel like we have everything pointed in the right direction. We have a lot more assets than we had before. With Comcast SportsNet, we have access to NBC10, we have more resources and opportunities to do programming that would make sense.”
Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article
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.