Thank goodness the game ended with an upset in overtime, otherwise most of the conversation today about the AFC Championship Game would center on how CBS bungled halftime.
A concert from country singer Walker Hayes made it impossible for viewers at home to hear the NFL Today crew as they discussed the action from the first half and gave their predictions for the second.
On Monday morning, Boomer Esiason told listeners what it was like to be there in the moment. He and his WFAN morning partner Gregg Giannotti laughed at the situation.
Esiason said that he knew it would be loud. No one on the set knew that there would be a speaker immediately behind them though.
“I didn’t know that until we get Drew in our ear, our producer in our ear saying ‘Alright guys, thirty seconds. Twenty seconds,’” he said. “This is all in hurry up mode.”
As the producer was doing the countdown, Boomer Esiason said that is when an announcement introducing Hayes came on. He instantly knew there was going to be a sound problem. He says the initial blast of sound could have been a real problem for NFL Today host James Brown.
“As JB starts reading the prompter, he almost fell off his seat.”
Esiason noted that a big part of the reason was that no matter how loud the concert was at home, it was considerably louder for him and his colleagues. Not only was there a speaker behind them, but their IFB microphones and ear pieces had the sound blasting in their skulls.
Giannotti said it was hard not to laugh at home, particularly because Esiason was laughing on the set. He said it was clear no one could hear each other because Brown had to pantomime what he was saying so that Phil Simms could give some kind of answer.
“JB was doing sign language to Phil Simms. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” Giannotti said.
Boomer Esiason admitted that he was indeed enjoying the moment. Being the last on the panel to speak gave him the chance to watch each of his four colleagues try desperately to hear what was being said.
He was very complimentary of Brown, who he said did as good of a job as he could holding the broadcast together, saying that “JB doesn’t flinch in the moment.” Keeping the show on script and trusting the teleprompter is a key to what makes him a pro.
Suzyn Waldman ‘Still here’ at WFAN after 35 years
I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”
Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman is celebrating 35 years on the air. Waldman, the first voice heard on WFAN, is thankful to be where she is.
“I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”
Waldman looked back on the experience of doing the very first update on the air at WFAN. While doing the first update alongside Jim Lampley, a fill-in for Pete Franklin, she was shocked when listeners did not approve of her updates and tied it to her being female. She thought, “Oh my God, this is not what I thought it was going to be,” she said.
That was not something she was accustomed to in the theater. Waldman had a background in musical theater before getting into radio and eventually joining WFAN as it went on the air in 1987.
“It was a rude awakening,” she said. “But it was at that moment that everything changed.”
Waldman eventually began working the overnight shift alongside Steve Somers. It was there she really honed her craft.
Suzyn has been calling Yankees games alongside John Sterling since 2005. This is her eighth season calling Yankee games on WFAN.
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.
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.
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.