Sharing a ratings story that involves two great sports stations in a major market where audiences are passionate for the format is a lot of fun. It serves as a reminder that although bragging rights are up for grabs between the two brands involved, their combined abilities to captivate local male audiences aged 25-54, leaves the rest of the market’s radio stations envious and wishing it had sports radio’s winning formula.
In the latest winter book in Chicago, both ESPN 1000 and 670 The Score had reason to celebrate. If the noise was a little louder inside 1000’s offices, there’s a perfectly good explanation for it. The station finished #1 overall during David Kaplan and Waddle and Silvy’s shows. It was Kaplan’s first time enjoying the top spot for an entire quarter. Waddle and Silvy on the other hand have been on fire, leading all of the market’s sports talk programs in the ratings for seven straight months.
Not to be ignored, Carmen and Jurko also delivered big for 1000, coming in 5th. Just twelve months ago the show was ranked 11th, which shows significant growth year to year. The station’s lone spot where it didn’t win head to head against The Score was in mornings where Mike and Mike came in 9th.
Meanwhile for The Score, Mully and Hanley continued their winning ways in AM drive, registering a 5th place finish. The popular local duo have consistently won the morning matchup against their national counterparts.
In middays and afternoons, both Spiegel and Parkins and Bernstein and Goff came in 7th, six positions away from 1000’s programs. This was the first ratings book for both Score shows. They were added to the weekday lineup in January following the retirement of longtime personality Terry Boers.
In sizing up the key demographic battles, ESPN 1000 earned wins against their local rival by placing 3rd M-F 6a-7p and 6th M-SU 6a-Mid. The Score was 6th M-F 6a-7p and 7th M-SU 6a-Mid.
Although it’s certainly a great time to be inside the hallways at ESPN 1000, The Score stands to benefit from Chicago Cubs baseball being back on its airwaves. That should help the station increase its cume next quarter and provide a few additional samples of the station’s new weekday shows.
On the other hand, ESPN 1000 may be faced with a play-by-play disadvantage, but they’ve demonstrated to local fans that their lineup is dynamic. Exceptional talent and content stands out, and the results so far show that listeners are supportive of their approach.
One thing to keep an eye on is how 1000’s recent decision to switch Kaplan to 9a-12p and Carmen and Jurko to 12p-2p affects the radio station going forward. There’s no reason to expect anything but continued success, and a highly competitive battle between two great sports radio brands, but when meters are involved, it’s anybody’s ballgame.
Until next quarter, may the best brand win, and the audience continue to be satisfied.