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Colin Cowherd Says Short Season Is What MLB Needs

“Cowherd points out that baseball is steeped in tradition, and says that it is that tradition, not the shortened season and the other changes that come with it, that has been killing baseball.”

Jacob Conley

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Many pundits have forecasted that the long dispute between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association and the resulting 60 game season, along with other changes, would be the death nail for America’s Pastime. Not Colin Cowherd, however, as he holds the polar opposite opinion which he expressed on Monday’s edition of The Herd.

“I have had the privilege of living in all four corners of the country,” Cowherd said. “I lived in the Northeast for 11 years where baseball and tradition rule.”

Cowherd points out that baseball is steeped in tradition, and says that it is that tradition, not the shortened season and the other changes that come with it, that has been killing baseball.

“Tradition can be wonderful,” Cowherd said. “It can give you great memories of doing the same thing year after year with your family. But tradition can be really bad, too. People watch things, eat things, and do things that are really boring just because they always have. Baseball has a lot of traditions, but good God, it needs changes and it is going to get some of them now.”

According to Cowherd, the biggest change is the 60 game season instead of the traditional 162 game schedule.

“Hallelujah,” Cowherd exclaimed. “A DH in both leagues, Hallelujah. In extra innings they will put a runner on second base to start the inning so we don’t have 17 inning games, Hallelujah.”

Cowherd strengthens his argument by comparing baseball’s traditions to other sports.

“Baseball games that go into extra innings don’t end sometimes before 12:45 or 1 o’clock in the morning and the majority of the games are played Monday through Thursday. If I told you I watched the AFC championship game between the Ravens and the Chiefs that didn’t end until 2 a.m., you would be like ’what idiot scheduled a game to start so late?’, but that’s been baseball for the last 20 years. Too much of baseball is about tradition and habit and doing it this way because we have always done it that way. I can’t wait for baseball and these changes.”

With the 60 game season, Cowherd also argues that each game takes on a sense of urgency.

“It (the season) is a sprint now,” he said. “The Yankees  and Dodgers are favored but if they go on a four game losing streak or fall four games under .500, they might not make the playoffs. If you tried to sell baseball as it is now to a bunch of investors and pitched them, ‘Oh it’s 162 games and some of them last five hours and the stars spend most of the time sitting in the dugout’, nobody would buy it. Those same investors if you brought up MLS soccer: where the games are really fast, there are no stoppages, the ball is always in play, the stars are always in the game, you have two 45 minute halves and games are over in two hours so you could play a game every day, then MLS would be an easy sell to investors but not baseball.”

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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