Report: Local Radio was the Real Winner of the NBA Draft

Media Monitors
Media Monitors

Every year, basketball fans -- especially those of underdog teams -- anticipate the NBA draft. What makes the NBA Draft so exciting is that there are plenty of surprises. But the draft isn't a just a story about teams and players. It's also about local radio, especially the hometown stations of fan favorites. This annual programming event, and others like it, holds high potential for radio programmers and management.

Media Monitors analyzed changes in PPM listening for a few key markets on June 20, the day of the 2019 NBA Draft, using a new programming tool, Audio Overnights. This new service, developed in collaboration with Nielsen Audio, provides next-day information about the audio tuning behavior of PPM panelists. Audio Overnights delivers a daily count of raw panelists meter count and quarter hours for the previous day and offers filters and breakdown by demo/daypart. The data is designed to enable programmers and station management to react faster to market and station changes.

Here's what the company found about the audio tuning behavior of PPM panelists for the 2019 NBA Draft.

18 to 34-year old demo Winners: Los Angeles and San Jose. Local radio stations in Los Angeles, San Jose and Boston saw spikes in listenership among 18 34-year-olds. KSPN-AM saw quarter hours among this demo nearly triple during the 3-7pm slot compared to the same day the previous week, according to the Audio Overnights data.

Likewise, the draft was a major draw for KNBR-AM/San Jose, which gained new 18-34 year-old PPM panelists during the 3-7pm time slot and tripled its quarter hours for the day compared to the same day the prior week.

In Boston, WBZ-FM saw its daypart quarter hours for this demographic rise by nearly 50% compared to the same day the previous week.

25 to 54 demo Winner: Chicago. PPM panelists tuned into WSCR-AM, which experienced an 82% increase in quarter hours among this demo on the day of the draft, as compared to the same day the prior week. The data also showed that in the 7pm-midnight slot, the drop was even more pronounced as quarter hours jumped nearly 400 percent.

6+ demo Winner: Cleveland. It may be a mid-sized city, but Cleveland is a big sports town with a special interest in pro basketball. After all, this is Lebron James's hometown. So, it's not surprising that WKRK-FM gained a wider audience. On the day of the draft, the number of quarter hours rose by 67% in the 6+ demo, according to Audio Overnights data.


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