Yesterday marked The Game’s two-year anniversary, and with the March ratings they have also closed their gap with KNBR to its lowest ever margin. The biggest reason appears to be KNBR’s falling ratings rather than big gains by 95.7; regardless, things are at least interesting in the Radio Wars world.

Here are the ratings numbers updated through the March period, which runs from February 28 – March 27 (numbers on demographics or specific shows aren’t available to the general public):

San Francisco

January

February

March

Station

AQH%

Reach

AQH%

Reach

AQH%

Reach

Owner

KNBR-AM 4.3 738,300 3.6 596,400 3.1 506,000 Cumulus
KGMZ-FM 1.3 317,200 0.8 189,600 0.8 180,500 Entercom
KTCT-AM 0.6 215,800 0.6 141,500 0.4 139,600 Cumulus

 

I’m not sure exactly when the San Jose numbers started getting published again, but from now on I will also include them here as well. When I get to a year of data on these I will include the year over year changes here as well.

San Jose

January

February

March

Station

AQH%

Reach

AQH%

Reach

AQH%

Reach

Owner

KNBR-AM 3.9 161,100 2.3 112,200 2.0 102,500 Cumulus
KGMZ-FM 1.5 68,000 0.7 41,000 0.9 39,700 Entercom
KTCT-AM 1.2 57,500 0.6 48,100 0.4 43,500 Cumulus

*AQH is Average Quarter-Hour Share or the average share during any quarter-hour during the course of the day. Reach is the total number of people that tuned in during the course of the week.

Here’s a graph that shows how each sports station has faired over the past year in San Francisco:

Radio Ratings through March 2013

The winter ratings lull has continued for KNBR. The March rating of 3.1 is their lowest since February 2012 and down 13% from last month. The news on KNBR 1050 is even more bleak — for the second straight month it posted a 0.4 rating with declining total listenership. However, as bad as the recent numbers look, we should see a ratings spike a month from now with baseball in full swing.

On the FM side, The Game managing to hold steady at 0.8 seems almost impressive by comparison. KGMZ hasn’t seen much ratings growth in the last few months, but they have also managed to maintain their audience without seeing the huge peaks and valleys that KNBR has.

One of the problems of taking these cumulative numbers from Arbitron is we’re left to make assumptions. Although The Game has added a couple hosts in recent months, the biggest changes at both stations came in the form of syndicated content. In January, KNBR dropped ESPN and went almost fully with CBS Sports Radio shows (KNBR 1050 airs Fox Sports Radio from 3 am to 5 am and most of the day on weekends). The Game swooped in and grabbed ESPN Radio (which replaced Yahoo Sports Radio, which is mostly terrible). As KNBR’s numbers have dropped and The Game’s haven’t, it’s impossible for us to determine whether 95.7′s local shows are gaining ground or if people simply prefer ESPN to CBS.

YOY Changes:

March 2012 – March 2013
Ratings Listeners
KNBR -19.4% -11.9%
KNBR 1050 -75% -54%
KGMZ (the Game) 12.5% -5.4%

 

The biggest year-over-year change this month percentage-wise came from KNBR 1050 — ratings are down 75% and listeners down 54% compared to March 2012. 0.7 to 0.4 doesn’t seem like a huge drop, but the loss of nearly 75,000 total listeners from this time last year won’t please Cumulus.

The Game’s numbers, while not exactly impressive, have held steady. The big question: whether the narrowed gap between KNBR 680′s ratings and the numbers seen from 95.7 was a mirage created by the winter lull … or an indication that Entercom’s FM challenger might make provide some legitimate competition for the Cumulus behemoth in future months.