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Utley, Fan Get Contentious On WFAN Appearance

“Most infamously, Utley broke Mets shortstop, Ruben Tejada’s leg trying to break up a double play during the 2015 playoffs as a member of the Dodgers. “

Brandon Contes

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Credit Chase Utley for being a good sport when he joined WFAN’s Boomer and Gio this week.  Utley allowed the morning show to take calls, giving Mets fans a chance to air their grievances with the former Phillies second baseman who beat up on the NL East rival throughout his MLB career.  

Most infamously, Utley broke Mets shortstop, Ruben Tejada’s leg trying to break up a double play during the 2015 playoffs as a member of the Dodgers.  

At first, most of Boomer and Gio’s audience took it easy on Utley, but that changed when one angry caller made sure not to let Utley off the hook.  And no, the angry caller was not afternoon host Mike Francesa for a second time this week.

“Mr. Utley, I just want to say real quick, I do appreciate you working with dogs and kids. I’ve heard about that. Good for you,” Cali in Connecticut began the call politely before quickly changing her tone. 

“That’s the last thing I’m going to say I respect about you.”

“Doesn’t really seem like you care about anything. I just need you to know as Mets fans, how annoying it was to come and watch you. I respect that you’re a good player, I understand that, but when you took out my shortstop in the playoffs, that wasn’t about talent, that was just being dirty and I don’t care how much you tell me that was you being old school, that was just you being dirty because that’s what you do,” Cali fired at the retired second baseman.

“Thank you, Cali. I appreciate it. See ya, sweetheart,” a stoic Utley responded.

Cali’s tone was genuine and filled with disgust for Chase beating up on the Mets and disgust for some of the other callers who sounded forgiving  of Utley.  

“Honestly I wasn’t gonna go that hard until everyone else I was hearing went easy. He doesn’t deserve that,” Cali later tweeted after receiving a lot of attention on social media.

It was creative of WFAN to take calls during the radio interview and a good job out of Utley, not knowing what to expect when giving Mets fans the opportunity to chime in.  

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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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