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February 2020 PPM Analysis: Sports Talk

| March 25, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

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.

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