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KILT Leads The March Sports Radio Ratings In Houston

Jason Barrett

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The numbers are in for Houston, and overall it was a weaker month for the market’s top sports radio brands. With all due respect to KGOW, it’s a three station battle, and although March produced a dip in the overall numbers, April figures to provide a spark for all three brands due to the return of baseball, the NBA Playoffs, and the NFL Draft.

As the Houston Chronicle first reported, the ratings information covers the period of February 25th through March 23rd. The data being analyzed is Men 25-54, the key demographic for sports talk radio stations.

As always I remind you that things can change quickly. With KILT undergoing a change in morning drive due to the departure of Nick Wright, that could provide an opening for 790 and 97.5. How will that news impact KILT? We won’t know for a while, but for now, the radio station gets to celebrate a clean sweep victory in the March ratings book.

Here are the breakdowns for each of the key dayparts:

M-F 6a-10a:

  • Sports Radio 610 KILT = 2.6
  • 97.5 ESPN = 2.3
  • SportsTalk 790 = 0.8

*** The drop from February in mornings was significant. Both 610 and 790 suffered a seven tenths of a point setback, and 97.5 lost eight tenths. Some of this could be due to the typical winter listening decline, but when three brands collectively lose two ratings points, that can also indicate that a meter or two disappeared from the panel. What’s odd is that the same pattern didn’t occur in middays, afternoons or evenings.

M-F 10a-3p:

  • Sports Radio 610 KILT = 2.6
  • 97.5 ESPN = 1.5
  • SportsTalk 790 = 0.7

*** 790 was flat month to month, and 610 and 97.5 saw minor decreases. KILT lost one tenth, ESPN dropped two tenths.

M-F 3p-7p:

  • Sports Radio 610 KILT = 3.3
  • 97.5 ESPN = 2.6
  • SportsTalk 790 = 1.1

*** All three stations were unchanged month to month. 

M-F 7p-12a:

  • Sports Radio 610 KILT = 2.3
  • 97.5 ESPN = 0.8
  • SportsTalk 790 = 1.0

*** 790 remained even, but KILT lost two tenths, and 97.5 lost three.

M-SU 6a-Mid:

  • Sports Radio 610 KILT = 2.7
  • 97.5 ESPN = 1.7
  • SportsTalk 790 = 0.9

*** All three stations suffered a minor dip from February. KILT lost two tenths of a point, 97.5 was down three tenths, and 790 lost one tenth. With the Astros back, and the Rockets in the playoffs, that should help 790 make improvements. KILT and 97.5 should also benefit from the increased attention on the local teams, and being the flagship station for the Texans probably won’t hurt 610 as they gear up for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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