95.7 FM The Game

Bay Area sports radio war rages on: May ratings

The May Arbitron numbers were released. So, dear readers, that means you get your monthly fix of sports radio ratings.

This feature is called “Radio Wars” but with the current ratings it is less a war and more of a massacre.

With baseball in full swing, the Giants playing pretty well, KNBR has become a ratings juggernaut, vaulting to number one overall in San Francisco while 95.7 “The Game” treads water. “The Game” has seen nowhere near the same bump with the A’s on the radio as what KNBR has had with the Giants — and this poor “attendance” isn’t something that A’s fans can blame on the awful stadium situation.

Here are the numbers updated through May (numbers on demographics or specific shows aren’t available to the general public but if someone wanted to leak them to me I wouldn’t complain):

San Francisco












KNBR-AM 3.7 566,100 4.8 842,900 5.1 929,600 Cumulus
KGMZ-FM 0.7 190,300 0.7 219,100 0.8 199,200 Entercom
KTCT-AM 0.7 215,000 0.5 198,100 0.5 212,600 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:

There weren’t any big changes this month. KNBR’s ratings grew, but a slower pace than the last two months, “The Game” saw a minor ratings bump, but had its total audience fall slightly. KNBR 1050 continued to pull up the rear with no real change.

The one thing that hasn’t seemed to affect KNBR, at least at a macro level, is the departure of Ralph Barbieri. Since his firing the station has seen ratings go up to the highest that they have been in a year. So far there doesn’t seem to be the same kind of backlash against KNBR from the listeners like there was after KGO let several hosts go in December.

Over at “The Game” they have to really be hating these numbers. They have been at it for a full year now and they haven’t really done much to cut into KNBR’s stranglehold on the sports radio market. This month they have put together a couple of interesting strategies to try to draw some ears to their station, and with “News Maker Week” and now “Celebrity Week” it will be interesting to see if getting any of these big names leads to a bump in the ratings next month. With the just announced extension of Dan Dibley I don’t think they are going anywhere anytime soon, but it would be nice to see them make the ratings fight a little closer.

Next month I will have a full year’s worth of ratings data, which will be helpful to see how each station is doing — not just on a month-to-month basis but on a year-over-year basis. As the radio wars soap opera continues, we’ll keep covering every episode, even if it is a one-sided event.

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