The Washington Nationals take a 2-0 lead in the World Series home to Nationals Park Friday night (Oct. 25) and looking at Audience Overnights for the first two games, the team’s flagship radio station, Entercom sports “106.7 The Fan” WJFK-FM, is also on a hot streak.
Game 1 of the 2019 World Series on Tuesday, Oct. 22 went to the visiting Nats, who won a see-saw battle over the American League Champion Houston Astros by a score of 5-4.
In Game 1, “106.7 The Fan” reaped the benefits of the first World Series appearance for the franchise with an increase of 61 QHRS (Persons 35-54) for the 7pm-12am daypart compared to the night before. Overall (6+), “The Fan” had 198 QHRS the night of Game 1.
In Houston, Astros games air on iHeartMedia “SportsTalk 790” KBME, which had 118 QHRS (6+) Monday 7pm-12am in Game 1. In the money demo (25-54), KBME saw an increase of 36 QHRS compared to the day before in evenings, according to Media Monitors Audience Insights.
Major League Baseball plays to a TV audience when scheduling games in prime time. However, radio’s prime time are the daylight hours, 6am-7pm. And while, game time broadcasts definitely increase audience compared to nights when the teams are not playing, both WJFK-FM and KBME saw increases for the full day when World Series games were scheduled.
Not having a team in the Fall Classic since 1933 has brought DC-area baseball fans out of the woodwork and tuned into “The Fan,” which had 492 QHRS (6+) on Tuesday, Oct. 22 (6am-12am). KBME was at 242 QHRS for the same time frame and date.
“People want to hear about it and talk about it. There’s the build-up,” Nielsen Audio VP/Audience Insights Jon Miller told Inside Radio. “The bump of a team being in the World Series or being in the playoffs is not just about the games themselves. It’s about the times in between the games and the recaps… that’s such a big driver for listening.”
The trend continued and even increased for Game 2, again held in Houston, and with the same result, a Nationals win, this one however more dominant as Washington cruised to a 12-4 victory, bringing the team halfway to their first World Series title. WJFK-FM saw an increase of 105 QHRS (Persons 35-64, 7pm-12am) compared to the time a week before. Full day, WJFK-FM saw a 125 QHRS increase in the demo compared to the week prior.
Miller says the last time the Astros were in the World Series in 2017, radio listening in their home market was less than in Los Angeles, home of the 2017 National League Champion Dodgers. The Astros beat the Dodgers in seven games that year to claim the title. “Now we have another World Series that we are seeing this again. I don’t know if that has something to do with how they consume baseball in Houston as opposed to elsewhere, but we didn’t see gigantic numbers on the radio the last time the Astros were in the World Series.” –Jay Gleason