We have us an apparent ballgame in the radio sports talk competition that for years has been dominated by SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket. If the first ratings book of 2015 is any indication, the new year may be an interesting study.
In the January ratings released this week, 105.3 FM The Fan and KESN 103.3 FM, aka ESPN Radio, made significant strides.
In the demographic that matters most because it pays the bills – men 25-54 – the score for the month was: Fan 4.2; Ticket and ESPN tied at 3.2.
Consider that in January 2014 the numbers were: Ticket 6.0; ESPN 3.1; Fan 2.7 and you can see how the universe has shifted.
For more egalitarian readers, among all listeners the final ratings were: Fan 2.6; Ticket and ESPN tied again at 1.8.
There’s little question that the Fan benefited from broadcasting two Sunday Cowboys playoff games and the Super Bowl while ESPN, which is run by the same folks who manage the Ticket, got a lift from college football’s three playoff games as well as the Cotton Bowl.
In the radio business, there is often a lingering residual effect from broadcasting big events. Listeners bleed over to regular programming. That’s the way the radio game is played.
So let’s delve deeper into men between the ages of 25 and 54.
Looking at the weekday ratings that feature the high-priced local talent from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. it was: Ticket 4.0; Fan 3.6; and ESPN 3.5.
A year ago those numbers were Ticket 7.6; ESPN 3.4; Fan 2.3.
It’s odd that given the Cowboys success and college football’s national championship game that combined listenership ratings for all three sports talk stations dropped from January to January, but that’s what the numbers show.
As usual, the Ticket’s “Musers” topped the morning sports talk mix master but there are new leaders in other day parts.
The Fan’s “G-Bag Nation” was No. 1 among sports talk stations middays and ESPN’s Afternoon Show topped afternoon drive.
The highest-rated weekday hour at the stations in men 25-54 was, as usual, turned in by the “Musers.” They scored an 8.4 share at 7 a.m.
The highest rated local hour at ESPN was “The Afternoon Show” at 4.9. Tops at the Fan was “Shan & R.J.” at 7 a.m. with a 5.4.
Credit to the Dallas Morning News who originally published this article