Fox College Football lead analyst Joel Klatt appeared on Outkick The Coverage Monday morning on FOX Sports Radio and discussed a wide range of topics. Chief among them, however, were the imminent return of Big 10 and PAC-12 football and what he sees as hypocrisy in the media coverage of football in the COVID era.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Klatt, who is calling the Ohio State vs Nebraska game said. “At my lowest point, I was about 99.5 percent sure it wasn’t. I don’t think people really appreciate what we are about to see, how rare this is. Will the Big 10 face challenges? Absolutely. We see plenty of articles written about that but where are the articles written about kids getting a chance to play? I’m very frustrated with the media. People will cover games like normal and then later write a haymaker of an article saying we should not be playing college football.”
Host Clay Travis adds that the media making a positive COVID test such a big story points to a flaw in coverage.
“The fact that a positive test is a big story is a flaw in the way we talk about sports,” Travis said. “The number of athletes who have had significant issues from a COVID positive test is zero thankfully. That should be celebrated and it’s not.”
Klatt then urges fans to ignore articles that focus on positive tests.
“In all walks of life, the data should shape the narrative,” Klatt said. “The data shows zero severe impacts for coaches or athletes. That’s what should shape the narrative and policy going forward this season. Yes, the fact that we have had positive tests means we should continue to follow safety protocols. That is part of the narrative, too. But any time you read one of these ‘sky is falling’ articles because of a positive test, just disregard it.”
“The fact that they (media members) are traveling to cover games on Saturday and Sunday negates their words that the sky is falling from Monday through Friday,” Klatt continued. “If you feel that it is too dangerous to play the games, then you should not be in a press box. If it is your position (unsafe to play), that’s fine, but I find it interesting that they push fear during the week and then travel all around the country, covering a sport that they say should not exist in on the weekends.”
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.