56 Million Fans Will Listen To The NFL On Westwood One As Streaming Offers Listeners Enhanced Tune-In Opportunities

October 2, 2023 By Pierre Bouvard

Click here to view a 13-minute video of the key takeaways.

Click here to download the NFL listening study for advertisers.

Click here to download NFL listening study for station affiliates.

For the second year, local AM/FM radio stations will air audio streaming of Westwood One’s national broadcasts of the big Sunday, Monday, and Thursday night games. The audio stream of Westwood One’s national broadcast is available for local radio station affiliates. The Westwood One national audio stream will also be available on the free NFL app.

Nielsen Scarborough: Half of NFL Thursday Night Football viewers are not Amazon Prime members

Of the 64 million Americans who have watched NFL Thursday Night Football, 28.8 million are Amazon Prime members and 35.7 million are not. 55% of the historical NFL Thursday night audience does not have Amazon Prime.

Advertisers can use Westwood One’s massive season-long audience of 56 million people to reach those who cannot catch games on TV or Amazon Prime

According to a season-long Nielsen analysis of Portable People Meter tuning, a total of 56 million people listen to the NFL on Westwood One.

The NFL on AM/FM radio is a reach machine: Each week, new/different listeners tune in

NFL AM/FM radio broadcasts fit into the busy lives of Americans. Some have to go to the mall to pick up their children. Others are running errands or returning from a trip to visit relatives. In Mountain and Pacific time zones, prime time games air during the drive home from work.

The NFL on Westwood One is a massive reach machine, adding new and different listeners each and every week. In the first week of the season, 7 million unique consumers tune in. Over the course of September, the unique audience expands to 18 million.

Over the entire regular season, Westwood One’s NFL play-by-play reaches 46 million different Americans. What happens in the postseason? Westwood One’s NFL coverage adds an additional 10 million listeners who were not reached during the regular season, lifting the season-long reach to 56 million.

Adding Westwood One’s NFL audio platform to an NFL video plan generates incremental reach

An NFL game day audience study found adding Westwood One’s audio broadcast to NFL TV plans increases reach among high income men by +14%. Among young men 18-34, Westwood One’s audio platform adds +18% reach to the TV plan.

Audio play-by-play listeners are far more engaged and passionate versus TV viewers

While most play-by-play sports are available both on TV and AM/FM radio, each broadcast has a very different audience profile. The TV audience consists of casual sports fans. The AM/FM radio play-by-play audience is far more passionate and engaged. This distinction has a significant impact on advertising effectiveness.

Consider these five dimensions of sports engagement:

  • Attend sports events
  • Seek sports information on a phone
  • Friends/family ask my advice on sports
  • Considered a sports category influential consumer
  • Play fantasy sports

On each measure, MRI-Simmons reports the AM/FM radio play-by-play audience is more engaged with and passionate about sports than those who watch sports on TV.

Sports betting is more prevalent among AM/FM radio sports listeners versus the TV sports audience

Another key measure of passion and engagement is online sports betting. Regardless of the broadcast audience for each sport, AM/FM radio listeners are more likely to be sports bettors, according to Nielsen Scarborough.

In the car, the AM/FM radio NFL play-by-play broadcast is the “best available screen” for employed and upscale sports fans

According to GfK MRI, the profile of the AM/FM radio NFL audience is much more upscale. Compared to average Americans, NFL AM/FM radio audiences are:

  • 27% more likely to be a college graduate employed full time with a household income of $75K+
  • 30% more likely to be a college graduate employed full time with a household income of $100K+
  • 38% more likely to be a college graduate employed full time with an individually-earned income of $100K+

The Westwood One NFL Listening Report key takeaways:

  • More engaged: The sports listener is more passionate, giving audio commercials greater impact
  • Mass reach: Buy deep in a game and long in the season to capture the massive 56 million reached by Westwood One’s NFL coverage
  • Closest to the point of purchase: Reach busy on-the-go people whose “best screen” is likely their car AM/FM radio
  • Desirable consumers: Reach a younger, employed, and upscale audience with greater spending power
  • Make your TV better: The NFL on Westwood One is an effective way to amplify reach and frequency of an NFL TV campaign

Click here to view a 13-minute video of the key takeaways.

View or download the 2023 NFL Listening Report for advertisers:

View or download the 2023 NFL Listening Report for affiliates:

Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer of the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group®.

Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.