The Carolina Hurricanes stepped into some controversy on the first day of the NHL’s free agency period. The team offered a one year deal worth $1 million to defenseman Tony DeAngelo. The signing was met with heavy backlash from fans in North Carolina, including Joe Ovies and Joe Giglio, who host the afternoon show on the team’s flagship radio station 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh.
DeAngelo was bought out of the final year of his contract by the New York Rangers after a physical altercation with goalie Alexandar Georgiev. It was just the latest in a long line of discipline issues, which include two suspensions during his junior career for violating the Ontario Hockey League’s policy against homophobic and racist language.
Ovies says to sign a guy like Tony DeAngelo proves that many of the Hurricanes’ social initiatives were nothing more than marketing.
“The Carolina Hurricanes and how they present themselves does not always equal the Carolina Hurricanes as an actual organization,” he said. “It’s really easy to put up a Pride flag avatar on your social media. It’s really easy to have a Pride Night and say all the right things on social media and foster community with a fan base, and in some cases actually gain new fans because of the way you have – keyword here – marketed yourself to the community. Unfortunately, marketing messages and action are not always the same. And this is just another reminder that the Canes are not unique.”
He went on to call that unfortunate and noted that plenty of fans have been vocal about their objections to seeing DeAngelo, who he described as “the actual antithesis of all of those things you have presented yourself as,” as part of the team.
Giglio added that he has no doubt that the Hurricanes’ front office knows talent and knows the game. He said it is clear though that the team’s leaders do not know the local market that well.
“I know they know more about hockey than I do, but they do not know this market,” he said. “It’s their money that sustains you in the long run and you need to keep them on your side.”
For the team’s part, General Manager Don Waddel faced the media on Thursday. He said that the team “100 percent” thought there would be backlash from some fans over the signing, but was confident that it had checked all of the boxes it needed to before deciding to sign DeAngelo.
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.