Putting the word ‘winter’ and Los Angeles in the same sentence seems silly, but for the sake of the latest quarterly ratings, it’s necessary. In analyzing the performance of the market’s local sports radio brands, it’s clearly a two-station race between ESPN L.A. 710 and FOX Sports Radio’s AM 570 LA Sports.
One thing to keep in mind as you sort thru both brand’s performances is that the two stations operate differently with their weekday timeslots. The only time when they run head to head without interruption is during morning drive.
As far as the overall week and weekday prime hours are concerned, the quarter was stronger for 710. The station doubled up 570 with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (2.7 to 1.3) and M-SU 6a-Mid (2.2 to 1.1).
Where 570 had to feel energized was in mornings where Dan Patrick’s program won the quarter 2.3 to 2.1 against Jorge Sedano, Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson. Patrick’s show has remained above a 2 share year to year which is positive news for 570. For 710, although they were a few tenths of a point behind, they are up more than a half of a point year to year, an encouraging sign considering the morning show has only been in existence since September 2016.
Shifting to the middays, 710’s Mason and Ireland once again performed strong. The popular local duo led all sports talk shows in the market with a 3.3 during their 12p-3p timeslot. Fred Roggin and Rodney Peete on 570, who have only been in their 12p-2p timeslot for a few months, generated a 0.9.
During the mid-morning, Trudell and Thompson (2.2) and Stephen A. Smith (2.3) outperformed Colin Cowherd (1.2) between the hours of 9a-12p PT. In afternoons, Marcellus and Kelvin delivered a 2.8 from 3p-7p, which was higher than Petros and Money’s 1.1 during the hours of 2p-6p. 570’s 6p-7p hour produced a 0.9.
An advantage that 570 will have during the next few months is the addition of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball. The winners of the N.L. West the past 4 seasons should help the station increase cume and tune ins during the spring book. The question to be answered is whether or not that will be enough to help the station leapfrog 710 in the ratings.
While this is a good quarter for 710, and they deserve credit for an excellent showing, it’s still just one quarter. The challenge now is for 710 to maintain that consistency and for 570 to disrupt it.
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.