Sports radio listening was alive and well in Chicago for the summer book. 670 The Score turned in the stronger numbers for the quarter among local brands, but ESPN 1000 also gained ground, giving both sides positive momentum entering the fall.
Starting with The Score, the station won the quarter, delivering a 4.1 to rank 5th in the M-SU 6a-Mid category. The Score also produced a 4.8 to place 4th M-F 6a-7p. Those numbers and all used throughout this article are for the coveted Men 25-54 demo and include the combined shares of over the air radio listening and streaming.
Among The Score’s weekday shows, middays were where the brand enjoyed its highest shares. Dan Bernstein and Leila Rahimi popped a 5.9 share M-F 9a-12p to rank 3rd. Laurence Holmes was next best with a 5.3 from Noon to 2p to finish 4th. Bernstein and Rahimi were slightly down two tenths from the spring book. Holmes picked up five tenths during the quarter.
In the drive times, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel popped a 4.7 during their M-F 2p-6p slot to rank 4th. Parkins and Spiegel did hold one advantage for the book over other shows though, they finished #1 in afternoon drive among non-Hispanic stations (the top 3 rated stations during Chicago’s 2p-6p timeslot were Mexican Regional and Spanish Contemporary brands). Rounding things out in morning drive, Mike Mulligan and David Haugh reeled in a 4.6 to finish 6th. Mully and Haugh recorded the best quarter to quarter gain though on the station, adding 1.1 points. Parkins and Spiegel were slightly down by two tenths,
For ESPN 1000, the news was much better in the summer than it was in the spring. The station received a 2.7 M-SU 6a-Mid to finish 18th for the book. Among all stations M-F 6a-7p, ESPN 1000 finished tied for 14th with a 2.9. Both numbers were up over a share from the spring book. Good progress.
Looking at the weekday shows, 1000 elevated its morning performance from the spring, delivering a 2.1 share between 5a-9a to earn a tie for 16th. That was up over a share from the prior book. The 5a-9a hours represent two hours of Max-Keyshawn-Jay Willams and two hours of David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood.
In middays, the combination of one hour of Kaplan and Hood and two hours of Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic, lifted 1000 to an 11th place 3.2 share finish M-F from 9a-12p. That performance represented a gain of ten ranked positions and a 1.7 share increase. Very strong. Mike Greenberg’s national show, which airs on ESPN 1000 M-F 12p-2p remained the station’s best performer for the quarter, securing a 4.4 share to finish in 7th. Greeny was 6th last book with a 4.3 share, showing the program has been consistently well received in the windy city.
Wrapping things up, 1000’s afternoon team of Waddle & Silvy, featuring Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle, helped the brand snag a 14th place finish with a 2.8 share M-F 2p-6p. That was a 1.3 share increase and ten position jump from the spring book, another positive boost for the station.
At night is where ESPN 1000 enjoyed a head to head win against The Score. The combo of Chicago White Sox baseball and Chris Bleck & Adam Abdalla carried 1000 to a tie for 13th with a 3.2. The Score’s airing of Chicago Cubs baseball and evening talk shows produced a 3.0 to finish 16th.
It’s worth pointing out that 1000 had a rough July but saw a big turnaround in the August monthly. The station went from 0.2 5a-7a, 1.2 7a-10a, 1.7 10a-12p, 2.3 12p-2p, and 1.4 2p-6p in the July monthly to an 0.8, 2.6, 3.7, 5.3 and 3.6 in August. If that activity carries forward to the fall book, especially with the White Sox in the playoffs, the station has a chance to make the race tighter.
That said tightening and winning are two different things, and right now The Score is rolling. The station has won all three books in 2021, has good consistency throughout the lineup, and is positioned well to remain strong in the fall.
Congrats goes out to Mitch Rosen and The Score team on winning the book, and to Mike Thomas and the ESPN 1000 team on making significant progress in the summer book. Chicago listeners have two top notch sports radio brands vying for their attention, and it’s nice to see each side with positive stories to tell heading into the fall book.
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.