The popularity of podcasts continues to mount. The percentage of U.S. population that have listened to an audio podcast in the last month is at 38% in 2022. That’s more than double what was reported in 2015. The Brooklyn Nets want to be a part of that growth.
The NBA team is coming to podcasting. In fact, it’s already here. The franchise has partnered with iHeartMedia to launch a slate of new podcasts. The plan is to create multiple podcasts with a variety of voices to serve their fans.
The Nets announced their first show will be hosted by Chris Carrino, the Nets’ radio play-by-play announcer. Their second will be hosted by Ally Love, the team’s in-arena host.
The first show is Voice of the Nets with Chris Carrino and debuted today (May 31) and will drop new episodes each Tuesday. The show will feature Carrino speaking to guests about the current state of the Nets and the NBA. The first episode features former Nets player Jason Collins, who helped lead the team to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. Collins later broke barriers as the NBA’s first active openly gay player.
“For over two decades I’ve been telling the story of the Nets through radio play-by-play and Voice of the Nets podcast is a chance to tell that story in long form,” Carrino said in the announcement. “I’m looking forward to sharing these stories and insights in conversations with a variety of guests. In addition to my role with the Nets, I have a somewhat unique life experience and a natural curiosity and while the show will revolve around the team, we will cast a wide net in covering a myriad of topics. I’m so excited to connect with fans in this way and grow a new audience as well.”
The team’s second podcast which will debut in June is titled Courtside Conversation and is hosted by Love. In the show, she will talk to guests about the game of basketball and all things culture – whether fashion, music, food, art, or current events – highlighting important New York moments.
“Courtside Conversation is going to be the place for all our guests to get personal, get inspired, and be inspiring,” Love said. “I regularly say that conversation is the catalyst for change and I’m looking forward to connecting with athletes, artists, and all our favorite people on a platform where we can share strategies and tips for success – our winning game – with others.”
The Brooklyn Nets’ podcast partnership continues the NBA’s commitment to the medium that drove a league-wide deal with the NBA and iHeartMedia announced last July. All Nets shows will be part of the NBA Podcast Network.
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.
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.