By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — Our comprehensive four-part series of February 2020 PPM overviews initiates with a look at sports talk.
The following scoreboards are comprised of sports talk facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any of the 48 PPM-markets during the February 2020 ratings period, which covered January 30 – February 26.
“Coronavirus” and “COVID-19” were being introduced to our vocabularies at the beginning of that sweep; the NBA and NHL seasons were put on hold (roughly) in mid-March.
Not to ring a sour note, particularly in this already unsettling time, but sports talk had an absolutely dreadful February 2020 ratings period. Only two stations in our sample notched month-to-month gains (6+) and the combined total from that duo was a scant three-tenths.
If a silver lining exists, it’s that February has traditionally been a weak month for the format.
By way of context, 76% of our sample was down in February 2017 (versus January 2017); 16% up; and 8% flat. A year later (February 2018), the comparable stats were 69% down; 9% up; and 22% flat. February 2019 totals of 73% down; 16% up; and 11% flat virtually mirrored February 2017 results.
Stats from our February 2020 sports talk panel indicate 83% regress; 4% notch improvement; and 13% are unchanged.
Of course, the wild card looking forward this year is the uncertainty of when – or if – we will see any MLB, NBA, and/or NHL games this season.
Time will tell.
In any event, ratings information in this exclusive analysis is limited to sports talk properties that subscribe to Nielsen Audio’s audience estimates.
Up next: A look at February 2020 results for public radio news/talk; email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Kinosian@TALKERS.com