If only the Chicago Cubs could win the world series every month! That would make the personnel at both sports radio stations in Chicago very happy.
In the latest November book, the Cubs ability to rally from 3-1 down in the world series, to knock off the Cleveland Indians and bring a world championship to a city which had gone 108 years without one, had a massive impact on the ratings for both 670 The Score and ESPN 1000.
For The Score, the home of Cubs baseball, they led the market. The radio station was 1st with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 6.5. They also came in 1st with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid with a 7.7.
Outside of the male demos, The Score was equally as powerful. The station finished 2nd among all listeners 6+ M-SU 6a-Mid, registering a 6.1. Their total cume in that demo was 1,774,400. Their 6+ number was also nearly two points higher month to month, and their cume climbed by 670,000. A huge tip of the cap to The Score’s program director Mitch Rosen and his entire team on a job well done.
As impressive as The Score’s performance was during the November book, ESPN 1000 also had plenty of reason to celebrate. Adam Delevitt and his team seized the moment and helped lift their brand’s performance despite not having the local rights to the Cubs.
To offset the local play by play disadvantage, ESPN 1000 aired the national broadcast of Cubs playoff games thanks to their affiliation with ESPN Radio. That decision coupled with a strong lineup propelled the brand to finish 2nd with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 5.8. They also came in 3rd overall with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid with a 5.0. Their 6+ performance was also up by .8 and their cume grew by 350,000.
What stood out most though for ESPN 1000 was the performance of “Waddle and Silvy”. W&S defeated The Score’s “Boers and Bernstein” in afternoon drive, coming in 1st with a 6.4 among Men 25-54. B&B were 2nd with a 5.8. W&S also bested B&B among Men 18-34, Men 25-49 and Persons 25-54, and finished in the top 10 in the 6+ demographic.
In middays, The Score won the head to head battle as “Spiegel and Goff” came in 1st with a 6.5 among Men 25-54. ESPN 1000 was 3rd with a 5.9. The Score also won the matchup in mornings with “Mully and Hanley” turning in a 6.5 to finish 2nd. However, ESPN 1000 which airs ESPN Radio’s national show “Mike and Mike”, got a nice bump, and were 4th with a 5.6. Given the local vs. national argument that pops up in every city, this is a healthy story for both stations.
One other interesting note that stood out, during the final week of the book (October 27-November 2) when the World Series was as its peak, both morning shows saw higher gains and were tied for 1st in the market with a 7.5. In the December book we’ll get a better look at how sports radio performed in the city the morning after the Cubs won it all. We’ll also see how both brands benefitted on the day of the world championship parade.
What’s undeniable in this book is that both stations reaped the rewards of the Cubs lifting their city and delivering the ultimate euphoria to a starved fan base. Their title win also provided a much needed distraction from a difficult Bears season. Now the challenge for The Score and ESPN 1000 is figuring out how to take advantage of their increased exposure and listenership and use it to their benefit in the future.