The latest Arbitron numbers were released Monday, and again there were no big surprises — unless for some reason you’re surprised that “The Game” still hasn’t made up much ground on KNBR.

Here are the numbers updated through July (numbers on demographics or specific shows aren’t available to the general public):

San Francisco












KNBR-AM 5.1 929,600 4.7 889,400 4.6 931,400 Cumulus
KGMZ-FM 0.8 199,200 0.6 191,700 0.7 207,700 Entercom
KTCT-AM 0.5 212,600 0.6 300,500 0.4 190,600 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.

For those who are more visually oriented, here are the ratings in graphical form since I started tracking this going back to June last year:

For the third month in a row, no big changes. KNBR’s rating dropped very slightly, but had an increase in the number of listeners. In the San Francisco market they maintained their position as the fourth-most listened to station. The one thing that might be of concern is that the year-over-year numbers are down, which we will take a look at a little later.

“The Game” bumped up after their slight ratings drop last month, managing to stay in the same general range of around a 0.7 rating, with the same number of listeners (about 200,000) that they’ve attracted for the last six months. KNBR 1050’s big listener jump turned out not to be sustainable, with the listeners falling back to the 200,000 range and the Arbitron ratings falling to their lowest level since August last year.

Overall, there have been no big changes in the ratings numbers over the last few months.

The one thing I have been looking forward to is the ability to look at year-over-year (YOY) changes, which give a comparison not biased by the seasonal swings that effect the Sports Talk Radio business. Last month I was able to look at ratings changes YOY and now I have data going back a full year on the number of listeners.

Here are the YOY Changes:

  July 11 – June 12 Ratings July 11 – June 12 Listeners
KNBR -11.0% -9.0%
KNBR 1050 -25.0% -1.0%
KGMZ (the Game) 43.0% 38.0%


43% growth looks pretty impressive for 95.7 “The Game.” However, I would caution against reading too much into it, as it is a rather small change from a small original base. It shouldn’t be dismissed entirely either, with “The Game” being the only sports radio station to see year-over-year ratings growth for this month. It will be interesting to see what happens next month because August 2011 was, after a few months of operation, when 95.7 switched to their current “The Game” identity and started to establish an audience.

KNBR 1050 saw the largest year-over-year change, with ratings down 25% from this time last year. The number of listeners was essentially flat. If KNBR didn’t have the overlapping sports to broadcast, would they still want to keep this station? It seems that of the two KNBR brands, this has been the one that has been most affected by the arrival of “The Game.”

Switching to “The Leader,” KNBR’s ratings were down 11% and listeners dropped by 9%. July 2011 was their ratings pinnacle; this year ratings may have peaked a little earlier. Either that or last year’s Carlos Beltran speculation drove ratings higher than the worry at this year’s trade deadline that the Giants wouldn’t make a big move (even though they changed course and got Hunter Pence). It will be interesting if the numbers can be maintained longer if the Giants can avoid fading like last year.