Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Major League Radio Ratings Impact

The Nielsen radio ratings for the period of April 26 to May 23rd are out for the larger markets with more interesting developments than usual.

Special attention goes to the New York City results with the return of Mike Francesa to afternoons on WFAN, which technically began a few days into this ratings period. WFAN showed an overall audience increase of more than 20%, finishing at #5 in the market. Francesa scored higher ratings than Michael Kay on WEPN-FM, although the ESPN station also gained in the ratings, showing a .4 of a ratings point rise.

In the always interesting Boston sports station race, WBZ-FM Sports Hub went up .2 overall and finished #5 in the market, with WEEI-FM dropping .4 and finishing #9. Boston continues to dominate for sports radio in a single market having two stations in the top nine.

Chicago's WSCR The Score 670 rose .4 and finished #8 in the market as its lineup revisions for afternoons and midday continue to bring higher ratings, along with Cubs broadcasts. WMVP ESPN 1000 dipped slightly, again finishing well below WGN Radio. WGN, continues to struggle overall, falling out of the top 20 since adding White Sox play-by-play in time for another disappointing season.

The improved play of the Giants and the (eventual) championship run of the Warriors kept KNBR 680 with strong ratings, finishing #6 overall. Even KGMZ-FM The Game continued to make progress, adding another .4 of a ratings point to finish only one rating point behind KNBR in the San Francisco ratings. Yet, in the separate ratings for the adjacent San Jose market, KNBR more than tripled KGMZ's overall ranking.

Major movement in Dallas for KTCK-AM The Ticket which jumped .8 during this ratings period to a 4.1, good for #6 overall. KRLD-FM dropped to a 2.3 rating, while KESN ESPN lags well behind at 1.1. You may recall that it wasn't that long ago that all three stations were bunched together.

The recent slump of the Twins factored in WCCO 830's drop of .8 from the previous month early in its first season since 2006 airing the Twins broadcasts. KXFM-FM The Fan tied WCCO at #8 in the market.

Those large markets which regularly do not fare well with sports talk stations continued the trend during May. Once again, none of Houston's three sports stations made the top 20 overall. KBME-AM was the only one of the three to show more than the 0.8 rating which both KFNC-FM and KILT-AM finished with.

Similar story in Los Angeles. Even though the majority of TV households still cannot get the Dodgers telecasts, radio flagship KLAC 570 held at a 0.9 rating, slightly behind KSPN-AM 710 which inched up to 1.0. However, neither station cracked the top 25.

Miami's sports stations also each failed to crack the top 20 while each generated no better than a 0.9 rating. That was shared by WAXY-AM 790 and WQAM-AM, while WINZ showed only a 0.3.

The impact of baseball play-by-play on radio showed up from analyzing the April ratings. Although lowly WINZ Miami held steady in April (with the same 0.3 it showed for May), the only station with play-by-play which dropped during that time was WGN Chicago with its White Sox broadcasts.

The novelty of either team winning its first Stanley Cup in team history still produced solid local TV market ratings for cities with NHL teams. With the Las Vegas market being the highest rated, next were Washington DC, Baltimore and Richmond. The only market in the top 10 for clinching Game 4 not specific to one team (Richmond is a secondary market for DC/Baltimore) was Ft. Myers, which somehow had the 8th highest local audience.

SAN DIEGO: KWFN-FM 97.3, which recently turned to a sports format in order to keep the Padres broadcasts, named Adam Klug as Program Director. His background includes two years with ESPN Radio and having worked as a producer for Doug Gottlieb's show.

ASHEVILLE: WMXF-AM 1400 Waynesville now simulcasts Asheville's 92.9/1400 simulcast, including its local programming and ESPN programming. In addition the Waynesville station adds University of North Carolina football and basketball broadcasts.

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