RADIO WARS: Nationwide Ratings Show Just How Popular Sports Talk Radio is in Philadelphia

We did the fall radio ratings story last week, noting that 94 WIP is thumping 97.5 the Fanatic across the board. It’s not even close.

At Barrett Sports Media, Demetri Ravanos compiled the fall book numbers across most of the major markets, and there’s a takeaway worth sharing, which is that sports talk radio continues to be uber-popular in Philadelphia.

Two examples, first the WFAN New York ratings:

  • 6a-10a (Boomer & Gio) – 9.7 (1st)
  • 10a-2p (Tiki & Tierney) – 6.4 (3rd)
  • 2p-6:30p (Carton & Roberts) – 7.7 (2nd)

And in Chicago, at 670 The Score:

  • 5:30a-10a (Mully & Haugh) – 4.8 (3rd)
  • 10a-2p (Bernstein & Holmes) – 5.6 (2nd)
  • 2p-6p (Parkins & Spiegel) – 4.7 (4th)

You see that those shows are top-four across the board, in each of their respective markets, but they’re pulling single digit shares. Numbers like 5.6 and 7.7 Compare that to 94 WIP, where everything is double digits:

  • 6 – 10 AM (Angelo Cataldi) – 15.5 (2nd)
  • 10a-2p (DeCamara & Ritchie) – 12.3 (2nd)
  • 2p-6p (Marks & Reese) – 16.9 (1st)

I went through the entire list, and WIP/Philly pulled numbers higher than every other city except for Boston, where the two stations up there, WEEI and 98.5, combined for 30+ shares in every daypart. Toucher and Rich finished first with a 23.4 but their competition, Greg Hill, still pulled a 10.9, which is incredible. The disgusting Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins fans are obsessed with sports radio in Boston, even more so than Philadelphia.

The takeaway here is that Philly continues to be a prime market for this format. I see these numbers and think that 97.5 the Fanatic has room to make up the ground its lost over the years, because even though WIP has pulled way out in front, the 3.2 to 4.4 shares WPEN is pulling are still better than ESPN New York and some Houston/Denver/etc numbers. Philly and Boston continue to have this huge appetite for sports talk radio. The demand is there.

*As a quick note, BSM you see publishes the actual numbers. We do not. I swear Nielsen got annoyed with us at some point and issued a threat, but maybe I’m remembering that wrong, so if BSM is doing the numbers, we’ll start to do it too.