Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sports Talkers On The Rise

First and foremost, our sincere prayers and best wishes to all those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and all that went with it. For the moment, it puts sports and how it is covered in the background, but soon, a lot of people will need the relief and the escape that sports is supposed to provide.

At press time on Tuesday, some of the late September to mid-October radio ratings are coming out for the top markets. In New York, as WFAN is about to begin its move to the FM dial on Saturday (11/3), the station showed a .4 overall increase to a 3.2, good for 13th place. Of course, the increase is more likely due to the Yankees being in the East Division race until the last day of the season (before clinching it) and then into the post-season for the duration of the ratings period.

In Los Angeles, KSPN 710 is showing signs of life, inching up to 24th place overall, while KLAC 570 lingers in 32nd place, even after a full season as the Dodgers' flagship station. Chicago listeners have again increased WSCR The Score 670 up to 13th place overall. Although rival WMVP ESPN 1000 showed a significant .6 increase (to a 1.9 overall), it finished 23rd overall. San Francisco listeners, as you might expect, had Giants fever and put KNBR 680 into the top spot overall. Despite the amazing season by the Oakland A's and the sellout crowds during the final homestand and Division Series, KGMZ The Game showed only a slight increase and is out-rated by KNBR by a higher than 4-to-1 margin.

Perhaps Philadelphia is the most interesting race among the sports stations around the country. The move to FM seems to have taken over in Philly. WIP-FM has risen to 10th overall, and now has more than six times the total audience of WIP-AM, which now airs more separate programming than in the past. WPEN-FM ESPN rose by .3 and is up to 19th overall, also trumping the ratings by its AM signal. This would seem to bode well for WFAN going to FM, at first with a simulcast, and a possible "split" with the AM going to national programming just after the first of the year.

As for baseball ratings, the World Series ratings seem to reflect the decline in the local telecast ratings of several MLB teams during the just concluded season. Ratings were down overall in comparison for the World Series, even with two of the top market teams involved (Detroit and San Francisco). It could be that football, both college (Saturday night Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma) and NFL (Sunday and Monday nights) was a factor. It wasn't that long ago that NBC did not provide a Sunday Night Football telecast during World Series weekend.

Yet, there is a cause for concern for MLB. Although it is an indirect comparison, the NBA Finals did better in the ratings this year than the World Series, making it five times in the  past seven years that has happened. And this June's Finals were decided in only five games, so you can't "blame" a deciding game. In 2012, even the NCAA BCS Championship Series (football) and Final Four (basketball) showed better audience numbers than the World Series.

MLB Network is returning its "Hot Stove" show on Monday November 12th. What's interesting this time is that the show will supposedly originate in the morning, rather than early evening. This could be MLB looking to compete against the NFL Network's weekday morning show by starting during the off-season. This gives MLB Network the chance to refine and develop the show, in hopes of luring viewers over after the Super Bowl leading into the start of spring training.

In an ironic twist, the Dan Patrick Show will be seen on NBC Sports Network starting next Monday (Nov. 5). The Show was dropped a few weeks ago by the Comcast SportsNet regional networks, which, of course, are owned by NBC. Hopefully, and especially with the holiday season coming up, NBC Sports Network will assure having guest hosts on the holidays (and days such as the Friday after Thanksgiving) so that the Dan Patrick Show will have live and fresh content every weekday. Especially now, there is NO excuse for showing repeats during mornings when there are plenty of games and sports news to talk about, and when many viewers can watch who do not otherwise have the opportunity during the regular work week.

CBS-TV will bring viewers an SEC doubleheader on Saturday (11/3), with Ole Miss at Georgia at 3:30 ET (Tim Brando on the call) and then Alabama vs. LSU at 8:00 ET (with Verne Lundquist).

St. LOUIS: A great move, in more ways than one, for sports fans courtesy of KMOX. As the station moves from its long-time studios, the station has posted a link to comments from several major sportscasters and reporters reflecting:


SARASOTA: WTMY 1280 is returning its local 3 to 6 PM "Ozzie & The Godfather Show" after only two weeks of national programming.

SCRANTON: Congrats to John Sadak on being named as play-by-play voice of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees minor league games starting in 2013. The former voice of the Wilmington Blue Rocks replaces Mike Vander Woude, who had announced that he was leaving the position after the team was eliminated from the International League playoffs last month. Sadak is expected to continue calling regional college football games for ESPN.

No comments: