With the Arbitron ratings reporting period finally catching up to the end of the baseball playoffs, KNBR’s reign as the number one radio station in the Bay Area has come to an end.

With winter coming, the ratings for the sports radio stations traditionally have fallen until the warmer weather brings back baseball in the spring. It looks like it is no different this year. KNBR may not be the number one among all the radio stations, but they have remained number one in the sports category, albeit with a bit less of a ratings lead than they have during the height of the pennant race.

Here are the ratings numbers updated through December covering the November 8 – December 5 dates (numbers on demographics or specific shows aren’t available to the general public):

San Francisco












KNBR-AM 6.1 990,900 8.1 1,506,700 4.2 713,400 Cumulus
KGMZ-FM 1.4 418,400 0.7 268,600 0.7 225,700 Entercom
KTCT-AM 0.8 347,000 0.8 365,600 0.8 297,400 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 for the last year:

Radio Ratings through December 2012

KNBR had a huge fall in ratings and total listenership with the World Series ending, but this was pretty much expected as it seems that baseball is the big driver of ratings at KNBR. What will be interesting is how long they can retain the casual listeners that came for playoff baseball. They managed to do a fairly good job given that ratings are well above what they were last year at this point.

The opposite is happening over on “The Game.” With the A’s out of it for the last two reporting months, there has been any big tent-pole events to draw people into “The Game” and ratings have been flat with very little noticeable retention of the listener’s who came for A’s baseball. It is possible that the high level numbers available to the public aren’t reflecting what is actually happening. Still, on a month to month basis, this is the lowest listenership and ratings numbers since July.

YOY Changes:

December 2011 – December 2012
Ratings Listeners
KNBR 31.0% 4.1%
KNBR 1050 -12.5% -4.9%
KGMZ (the Game) -28.6% 27.0%


When you take a look at the year over year changes, KNBR did a good job holding onto a good chunk of the listener bump they had from the playoffs and saw substantial ratings increases over this time last year. The total listener number growth isn’t as impressive, but still comes in at about 30,000 more than this time last year. Things at 1050 remain pretty unremarkable with a decline from this time last year, which continues the year long trend of ratings and listener declines for the JV station.

Things are not nearly as rosy for “The Game.” After a promising summer and a fairly strong showing last winter, the ratings have fallen back. Total listeners are up, so maybe the ratings drop is due more total listener’s being estimated by Arbitron, or maybe it is that more people are tuning in but just not sticking around for very long.

With one more reporting period left in the year, there will be some interesting things to watch before the relatively big changes take place with “The Game” becoming the Bay Area ESPN affiliate and KNBR taking on CBS Sports Radio programming. 2013 should be interesting as it looks like “The Game” will be sticking around for a while.