The radio ratings are being released this week around the country for the month of March, with the majority of the large markets not showing much of a change for the sports stations.
We always monitor Boston due to its two rival sports stations always being so strong. However, March was not kind as both stations combined to lose more than 10% of their total audience compared with the February results.
WBZ-FM Sports Hub lost .7 of a ratings point, although finishing #6 overall remains one of the stronger sports station showings around the country. WEEI-FM dropped .6 of a ratings point, coming in one-half point behind and in the #8 overall position. The April book should prove more interesting, since this month brings the start of the Celtics and Bruins in the playoffs along with the Red Sox season and the team expected to be a strong contender.
In Philadelphia, WIP-FM 94.1 finished #8 overall in the market, scoring its best ratings thus far in 2017.
On the other hand, San Francisco's KNBR 680, which has been as high as #1 in the market within the past 18 months, dropped again during March and is now at #10 overall. Their April ratings will be crucial if KNBR is going to rebound, as the Warriors begin their playoff run and the Giants begin their regular season.
Speaking of ratings, the TV people are pleased with the viewership for the start of the NBA Playoffs. ABC scored very well with its Golden State vs. Portland opening game telecast, while TNT also started strong on Sunday (4/16) night. The prime-time opening game doubleheader with the Chicago upset over Boston followed by the OK City vs. Houston opener was the cable TV overall winner for the night. These games also finished with roughly 39% higher ratings than the first TNT doubleheader last year.
A quick note to headline writers from sports fans. A mock draft is not and should never be "breaking news". We understand that ESPN, which televises the NFL Draft next week, and other sports heavy news organizations want to promote their "draft experts". But who they think will be picked in the first round is NOT news or factual.
It's not only some of the pro sports teams taking over and providing their own "controlled" content for fans these days. It somehow slipped under the radar that Kevin Durant has gone as far as to start his own YouTube channel to serve the fans.
Durant has already done a live stream from his home which included the view from his balcony and his dog. This channel already has more than 40,000 subscribers.
LAS VEGAS: The new NHL Golden Knights will also have games broadcast in Spanish when the team debuts next season. KENO 1460 ESPN DEPORTES will carry them.
PHOENIX: The NBA now has one less "Albert" calling its games due to the announced retirement of Steve Albert. Steve had done the Suns on TV for the past five seasons and has decided to call it a career after 45 years.
TAMPA: WXTB 98 Rock has a new multi-year contract in place to continue as flagship station for the Buccaneers broadcasts. In addition, the radio broadcasts will also be streamed via the team's web site starting with the upcoming season.
HARTFORD: WTIC 1080 has now bailed on sports talk only shows, dropping the team of Joe D'Ambrosio and Andy Gresch from the 3 to 6 PM spot. This appears to have been strictly a ratings based decision, since D'Ambrosio will continue calling University of Connecticut play-by-play as usual. Gresh is reportedly heading over to WPRO Providence to host nights. WTIC begins a general talk show with Todd Feinburg on Monday (4/24).