So I did some research, and Boston wins, big:
|Salt Lake City||0.9|
|West Palm Beach||0.5|
In case it’s not obvious, this is one nice piece of hard evidence that Boston is the country’s #1 sports town.
My source is Radio-Online‘s Nielsen Radio Ratings, current as of today. The big markets all last reported on September 29, and they are posted monthly. Some of the mid-markets reported on dates in October. All of the bigs and the mids report monthly. The small markets, such as Green Bay, report quarterly. While Green Bay was last updated on August 2, the last quarter listed is Spring of this year. I also include side-markets, such as those flanking New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
I list all the U.S. radio markets with a major league baseball, football, basketball or hockey team there or nearby. I just found ratings for Canadian stations, but those will take more work, because the formats aren’t listed. Maybe I’ll save those for Winter, when hockey is at high ebb. (I just checked Toronto, where the two AM sport stations total a 3.7, which would put Toronto in the middle of the pack here.)
If readers want me to, I’ll put up the spreadsheet I used. In fact it would be way cool if somebody else took this over.
The main thing I’m doing here is bragging on Boston.
Other things worth sharing:
- With the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins, whaddaya expect?
- Radio-Locator lists five local and nearby sports stations in New Orleans—more than in any other market—and the ratings total zero. (One it calls talk, but it’s sports.) The reason, I’m sure, is that all the sports stations there are small.
- Signal size matters. Boston’s and Philadelphia’s top sports stations are full-size FMs. Chicago’s, New York’s and San Francisco’s top sports stations are the biggest AMs in the market, covering huge territories; and New York’s is also on a full-size FM. Los Angeles’ sports stations aren’t the biggest AM stations in town, and there are no sports FM stations. Washington’s only sports station is an FM on the edge of the market a directional signal, mostly aimed away from the District (as they call it there). Minneapolis’ top sports station is a big FM, and the #2 is a landmark AM station. Charlotte’s biggest sports station is an AM that’s weak at night. Green Bay, Milwaukee, Raleigh-Durham, Las Vegas, San Antonio and Indianapolis also suffer from relatively small sports stations.
- Streams show up in many of the ratings. Some streams are also on FM translators (which in some cases cover their metros well).
- The fireworks photo above is in this set I shot on this past 4th of July, over the Charles River.
So congrats to WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Well done.
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