Atlanta’s summer ratings book provided good news for both 92.9 The Game and 680 The Fan, the market’s two sports radio brands. Each improved their year to year performance, thanks to a mixture of quality talk shows and increased enthusiasm for the market’s local sports teams.
Starting with 92.9 The Game, the station finished the quarter 3rd for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with a 7.5 share. The two stations ranked ahead were 97.1 The River, and news/talk station WSB.
Among the weekday shows, The Game enjoyed a 2nd place tie in mornings thanks to the team of John Fricke and Hugh Douglas. The duo popped a 5.6, placing them in a dead heat with Q99. WSB finished 1st.
In middays, Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael delivered a 3rd place finish, producing a 7.8 share. The two stations ahead of the show were WSB (1) and 97.1 The River (2).
The Game’s afternoon team of Carl Dukes and Mike Bell delivered the station’s best performance for the quarter. Dukes and Bell finished tied for 2nd with The River in PM drive with an impressive 8.5 share. WSB was 1st overall during the hours of 2p-7p.
For 680 The Fan, this was also an excellent book. The station made lineup changes on July 19th, so the book isn’t a full three month snapshot of what the new crew produced. It also takes time for local listeners to develop routines with new program. That said, the first look included a number of positives, which had to please the folks up top.
Starting in middays, the folks up top had to feel good about the performance turned in by Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino. The longtime on-air partners finished the quarter tied for 5th during the hours of 11a-2p with a 3.2 share. Buck Belue, who also hosts in the midday window from 10a-11a, grabbed a 2.3 share during his one-hour show to finish tied for 11th.
In the drive times, Chuck and Chernoff recorded a 5th place tie in afternoons with a 3.4 share. Their 5th place tie matched Cellini and Dimino for the station’s best performance for the book. In mornings, ‘The Locker Room’ which features John Michaels, Brian Finneran, Hutson Mason, Joe Hamilton, and Brandon Leak finished 15th with a 2.2 share.
The one area where 680 gained a victory over The Game was at night. A strong season and playoff push from the Atlanta Braves had much to do with that. The Fan ranked 3rd at night with an 8.0 share. The Game was just one spot behind in 4th with a 5.7 share.
The Fan’s August & September monthlies showed increases across the entire 6a-8p lineup. If that holds true during the upcoming months, the station could close the year by gaining more ground during the fall and heading into 2022 with nice momentum.
The Game on the other hand will add cume from the Atlanta Falcons, and massive interest in the Atlanta Hawks due to the franchise advancing last year to the Eastern Conference Finals. That should set the station up well for another strong 4th quarter.
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.