ESPN Radio are set to roll out a new fall weekend lineup with a heavy focus on the 2016 college football and NFL seasons. The network has announced the addition of two new programs, including a three-hour program titled “McNabb & Custer”, featuring former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and veteran Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Brian Custer. The new show will debut Sunday, September 11th at 10pm ET, or immediately following Sunday Night Baseball. The new weekend lineup will be in place until the end of the football season.
“Without question, the biggest names in sports talking football will be on ESPN Radio all weekend,” said David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Audio network content. “Fans can expect the most comprehensive information, from an array of diverse voices who will always be willing to provide a provocative, informed point of view on America’s number sport. We are looking forward to serving the sports fans anytime and anywhere across the audio platforms this fall.”
Louise Cornetta, ESPN Radio program director II, added: “The Fall means football. The goal is to give our fans the most comprehensive and entertaining coverage for College Football on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays. The new weekend lineup will provide our listeners with something for everyone to enjoy.”
During the football season, espnW presents: The Trifecta with Spain, Jane & Kate will take a break, however each host – Sarah Spain, Jane McManus and Kate Fagan — will remain involved. A new program Weekend Observations with Stu & Spain, will feature Jon “Stugotz” Weiner and Spain, and will focus on the day’s NFL headlines while injecting playful banter between the two hosts who frequently appear together on The Dan Le Batard Show. McManus will co-host Sunday’s Operation Football alongside Randy Scott and Field Yates, and Fagan will continue hosting Will & Kate with Will Cain.
On Sundays, Domonique Foxworth, a former NFL cornerback and new contributor to The Undefeated, will team up with ESPN Chicago 1000’s Jonathan Hood on NFL Nation, wrapping up the day’s NFL action and featuring ESPN NFL Nation writers who were at the biggest games.
ESPN Radio’s Saturday schedule will focus on college football beginning with:
- Dari & Mel, a year-round program hosted by SEC Network anchor Dari Nowkhah and ESPN NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr., kicking off the mornings at 7 a.m. for three hours.
- Following that, a three-hour simulcast of television’s ESPN’s College GameDay (10 a.m. – Noon) and ESPN Radio’s College GameDay (Noon – 7 p.m.) will provide listeners with previews, news and analysis from around college football and lead into the College Football Game of the Week on most Saturdays. ESPN Radio’s College GameDay returns hosts Doug Kezirian, Brad Edwards and Trevor Matich, with Maria Taylor, Joey Galloway, Andrea Adelson and Heather Dinich as weekly contributors.
- Capping off the day, Will & Kate – hosted by Will Cain and Kate Fagan – will air 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Robin Lundberg will continue to host The Robin Lundberg Show on select Saturdays (11 p.m. – 1 a.m.) this fall.
Sundays on ESPN Radio will be NFL-centric, kicking off the day with Weekend Observations with Stu & Spain (7 – 9 a.m.) Additional highlights:
- Fantasy Focus (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) returns, hosted by ESPN New York 98.7FM’s Dave Rothenberg, Mike Golic Jr. and Fantasy expert Eric Karabell, with weekly contributor Stephania Bell. Focus will offer listeners last-minute lineup suggestions, injury updates and analysis of who is having the best season at each position.
- Max & The Coach, with Tom Waddle (1 – 4 p.m.), hosted by ESPN studio hosts Max Bretos and Jonathan Coachman with ESPN Chicago 1000 voice and ESPN NFL analyst Tom Waddle will keep listeners up-to-date on all of the early NFL games.
- Operation Football (4 – 7 p.m.) – returns for its second year, hosted by ESPN anchor Randy Scott, Jane McManus and Field Yates, and will recap the earlier NFL games with live player and coach post-game interviews, updating the current ones and keeping tabs on the fantasy front.
The New Weekend Schedule:
|Saturdays||6 a.m.||The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap|
|7 a.m.||Dari & Mel|
|10 a.m.||ESPN College GameDay (TV Simulcast)|
|Noon||ESPN Radio’s College GameDay|
|7 p .m.||College Football Game of the Week|
|11 p.m.||Will & Kate (or The Robin Lundberg Show on select Saturdays)|
|Sundays||6 a.m.||The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap|
|7 a.m.||Weekend Observations with Stu & Spain|
|9 a.m.||Fantasy Focus|
|1 p.m.||Max & The Coach with Tom Waddle|
|4 p.m.||Operation Football|
|7 p.m.||NFL Nation with Domonique Foxworth & Jonathan Hood|
|10 p.m.||McNabb & Custer|
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.
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.
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.