The Sports Hub remained the top-rated station in the Boston market in the spring Nielsen Audio ratings, but WEEI made a striking leap forward from a year ago, especially in morning drive.
The Sports Hub (98.5 FM) earned an 8.7 share overall in the men 25-54 demographic from the period of March 30-June 21 to remain in the top spot. WEEI (93.7 FM) earned an 8.1 to finish second. The Sports Hub added an additional 1.4 share from its online stream.
(WEEI’s stream is included in its share. An explanation of the stations’ different streaming measures is at the bottom of this post.)
But WEEI collected one enormous and significant victory, with its “Kirk & Callahan” morning program finishing first (11.9), a spot ahead of the Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” program (10.4. plus 0.4 for its online stream). It is the first time since summer 2014 that WEEI topped the Sports Hub in the 6-10 a.m. time period.
Last spring, the Toucher and Rich program was first with a 14.6 share, plus another 1.1 for its stream. WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan” program, which “featured” its current show-driving personality Kirk Minihane at that point, was second with a 10.5.
In middays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), WEEI’s “OMF” program, featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria, was second (8.3), trailing WZLX’s Carter Alan program (8.8). The Sports Hub’s program, featuring Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand, was fourth with a 7.6 share but vaults to a 9.3 when its 1.7 streaming share is included. Last spring, Zolak and Bertrand were first while OMF was fourth.
In afternoon drive (2-6 p.m.), the Sports Hub’s “Felger and Massarotti” finished first with an 11.0 share, 13.2 with streaming added. WEEI’s “Dale & Holley” program, which includes third host Rich Keefe, was second (9.0).
In the 6-7 p.m. window, The Sports Hub, which usually airs “The Baseball Reporters” hosted by Tony Massarotti in that slot, was first (9.5, 2.0 stream). WEEI, which typically features the Red Sox pregame show in that period, was fourth (6.0).
In the 7 p.m.-midnight period, The Sports Hub, which airs “The Adam Jones Show” weeknights and had late-season and playoff Celtics broadcasts in that window, was first (10.6, no streaming share measured). WEEI, which primarily carries Red Sox broadcasts in that window but also has programming hosted mostly by Mike Mutnansky, was second (8.0).
WEEI is trending the right way. Its programs had outstanding numbers across the board in June, the final month of the book. “Kirk and Callahan” checked in with a massive 15.2 share in the month.
A note about streaming: The Sports Hub and WEEI have different methods for measuring streaming, both valid, but the cause of some controversy.
WEEI uses Total Line Reporting, which includes the stream in its Nielsen Audio ratings since it is a direct simulcast of the radio. The Sports Hub does not use Total Line Reporting and has a separate online stream, which generates a separate share.
Here is a further explanation of what it means — including insight from Nielsen — and why the stations have different interpretations of whether the Sports Hub’s streaming number should be included.Chad Finn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globechadfinn.