Arbitron has released audience data from Houston supporting its claim that its Portable People Meter (PPM) measurement device ‘consistently captures more listeners to sporting events on radio, especially those with afternoon and early-evening start times’.
According to the presentation, released at the Radio Play-by-Play Industry Conference in Chicago, the PPM shows a significantly larger total audience for play-by-play sports then does the paper and pencil diary, for major sporting events such as World Cup Soccer, the NFL Football Draft and for regular local team games.
‘Electronic measurement via the PPM is better, more reliable, faster and more granular than other means of measuring play-by-play audiences’ according to John Snyder, VP, PPM Sales. ‘With the PPM, we can see higher ratings and larger audiences during specific kinds of sports programming, especially during the afternoon and early evening, including the evening rush hour, when listeners aren’t near a television.’
The PPM data reveals that radio ratings for sports events are directly related to the proportion of the audience that is out of home. Because of the impact of out of home audience on radio ratings, radio and TV audiences to the same sporting event tend to be complementary: as one medium declines, the other will tend to rise.
Snyder says the PPM gives advertisers more frequent updates: ‘The combination of electronic measurement and daily sample size allows PPM to pick up special features and events the diary never could, enabling stations to enhance overall programming.’
Among the more specific findings, the data showed huge audiences for World Cup Soccer on Spanish language Houston radio stations - while the May average cume for KEYH-AM/KXGJ-FM was just under 25,000 persons, audiences increased in June to over 153,000 during several World Cup broadcasts; and audiences from the NFL Draft on KILT-AM jumped from 12,600 cume at 10am to nearly 45,000 at noon the same day as the Houston Texans woke up local fans with the surprise selection of defensive end Mario Williams over Reggie Bush.
‘The change from diary to PPM will impact everything from selling cycles to ratings to the ability to monetize special features’ says Snyder. ‘In all likelihood, the ‘emotional’ sell of sports will be replaced with a more ‘fact-based’ sell, and this ‘estimate driven’ world should bring new advertisers to play-by-play who hadn’t considered it before.’
The presentation is available online at www.arbitron.com/portable_people_meters/play_by_play.htm