Sharing a ratings story that involves two great sports stations in a major market where audiences are passionate for the format is a lot of fun. It serves as a reminder that although bragging rights are up for grabs between the two brands involved, their combined abilities to captivate local male audiences aged 25-54, leaves the rest of the market’s radio stations envious and wishing it had sports radio’s winning formula.
In the latest winter book in Chicago, both ESPN 1000 and 670 The Score had reason to celebrate. If the noise was a little louder inside 1000’s offices, there’s a perfectly good explanation for it. The station finished #1 overall during David Kaplan and Waddle and Silvy’s shows. It was Kaplan’s first time enjoying the top spot for an entire quarter. Waddle and Silvy on the other hand have been on fire, leading all of the market’s sports talk programs in the ratings for seven straight months.
Not to be ignored, Carmen and Jurko also delivered big for 1000, coming in 5th. Just twelve months ago the show was ranked 11th, which shows significant growth year to year. The station’s lone spot where it didn’t win head to head against The Score was in mornings where Mike and Mike came in 9th.
Meanwhile for The Score, Mully and Hanley continued their winning ways in AM drive, registering a 5th place finish. The popular local duo have consistently won the morning matchup against their national counterparts.
In middays and afternoons, both Spiegel and Parkins and Bernstein and Goff came in 7th, six positions away from 1000’s programs. This was the first ratings book for both Score shows. They were added to the weekday lineup in January following the retirement of longtime personality Terry Boers.
In sizing up the key demographic battles, ESPN 1000 earned wins against their local rival by placing 3rd M-F 6a-7p and 6th M-SU 6a-Mid. The Score was 6th M-F 6a-7p and 7th M-SU 6a-Mid.
Although it’s certainly a great time to be inside the hallways at ESPN 1000, The Score stands to benefit from Chicago Cubs baseball being back on its airwaves. That should help the station increase its cume next quarter and provide a few additional samples of the station’s new weekday shows.
On the other hand, ESPN 1000 may be faced with a play-by-play disadvantage, but they’ve demonstrated to local fans that their lineup is dynamic. Exceptional talent and content stands out, and the results so far show that listeners are supportive of their approach.
One thing to keep an eye on is how 1000’s recent decision to switch Kaplan to 9a-12p and Carmen and Jurko to 12p-2p affects the radio station going forward. There’s no reason to expect anything but continued success, and a highly competitive battle between two great sports radio brands, but when meters are involved, it’s anybody’s ballgame.
Until next quarter, may the best brand win, and the audience continue to be satisfied.
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.