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Meadowlark’s Mike Ryan Returns with a Fury for Philly Fans

Meadowlark executive producer Mike Ryan returned to the air Tuesday with an impassioned message for 76ers fans.

MIchael Quirk

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Meadlowlark Media has been on a tear in its infancy as a company. Led by strong viewership numbers and a partnership with DraftKings, Meadowlark has made waves with its acquisition of noteworthy talent to its roster with new names seemingly added by the week. On Tuesday, it was not a new name who made waves on the air, but rather a familiar one in Mike Ryan, who returned after taking a few weeks off for R&R. Ryan came back with a fury, delivering a stern message for and about Philadelphia 76ers fans.

“It’s like when you turn on a kitchen light and the cockroaches go scurrying about,” Ryan said. “This team and their fanbase, their fanbase in particular, get so loud game seven of an NBA regular season when they trounce the Wizards, and it’s like they accomplished something. Yet here we are again and they can’t get past the second round.”

“You call into question the idea that they tanked to get where they are, which is nowhere by the way,” Ryan continued. “(76ers president of basketball operations) Daryl Morey said 26 other teams would love to be where (they) are. I’ll pass. I’ll pass.”

The venerable pot-stirrer Billy Gil reminded Ryan the 76ers made it further in the 2021 playoffs than Ryan’s beloved Miami Heat, who were swept in the first round at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks. Ryan took that opportunity to pose that less than a year ago, Heat star Jimmy Butler left the 76ers for the Heat and made a finals appearance in his first season in South Beach. The 76ers have not been to the NBA Finals since 2001.

Ryan has taken personal time since the network’s Freedumb marathon earlier this month. During that time, when the 76ers were eliminated, much of the media derided 76ers guard Ben Simmons for his shooting inefficiencies. That seemingly surprised reaction from the general public, and 76ers fans especially, perplexed the network’s executive producer.

“(76ers fans) want to prop up Ben Simmons, make him a player he hasn’t been for his entire career: a confusing, half-ass player his entire career just to cut him down,” he said. “You want to get mad at Ben Simmons for not taking a shot? The hell have you been watching his entire career?”

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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