The Sports Hub tops Minihane-less WEEI in fall ratings

In the most competitive day part, morning drive, The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich program was first.

Toucher and Rich
The "Toucher and Rich" morning show just got a new contract and can claim to be the city's top draw as well. –Cha-Chi Loprete

The Sports Hub finished first overall and in all four day parts in sports radio’s most coveted demographic, the fall Nielsen Audio ratings, while sports radio rival WEEI was second across the board.

The Sports Hub (98.5 FM) earned a 10.8 share overall in the men ages 25-54 demographic from the period of Sept. 13 to Dec. 5 to finish first. WEEI (93.7 FM) was second with a 7.8 share.

WEEI’s numbers include its share for its flagship 93.7 station (6.4) plus its separate streaming number and Boston-based listenership to its WVEI (103.7) station that originates from Providence (a 1.4 combined share).

The Sports Hub’s online stream is now included by Nielsen in its share for the radio station.


In the most competitive day part, morning drive, The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich program was first (10.5) while WEEI’s programming — which switched from the Kirk and Callahan program to the Mut and Callahan program when host Kirk Minihane announced in mid-November he was leaving to host his own show on — was second (10.2, or 8.4 plus 1.8 for WVEI/streaming).

Minihane, who has been candid about his battles with depression, took leave of absence on Sept. 6 while working through mental health issues.

In afternoon drive, The Sports Hub’s Felger and Massarotti program was first (15.3) while WEEI’s OMF program was second (7.2, including 1.3 for WVEI/streaming).

In middays, The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand show was first (10.5) while WEEI’s Dale and Keefe show was second (9.4, including a 3.1 for WVEI/streaming).

In the evenings, the Sports Hub, which includes the Adam Jones show and Bruins and Celtics broadcasts, was tops with a 10.4 share. WEEI, which had its WEEI at Night programming as well as Red Sox broadcasts, was second (7.7, including WVEI).

In the summer, the Sports Hub earned an 8.4 overall share, while WEEI was second with a 7.2. (including WVEI).

Addazio in studio

ESPN is going all-in again this year with its coverage of the College Football Playoff Semifinals Saturday, offering viewers up to a dozen different ways to watch its “MegaCast’’ production of the two games.


One of the more popular approaches to broadcasting the games last season was the Coaches Film room, which features a live feed of a group of well-known coaches watching a live feed of the games in one of ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios and commenting in real time.

One of the coaches participating this year is Boston College’s Steve Addazio, who will be joined by Arizona State’s Herm Edwards, Boise State’s Bryan Harsin, and Texas Christian’s Gary Patterson on the 8 p.m. broadcast (ESPNEWS, ESPN app) of the Orange Bowl featuring No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Oklahoma.

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If you’re keeping track at home, that means Addazio led Boston College to a bowl this year (the First Responder Bowl vs. Boise State), didn’t actually get to coach one since it was canceled due to bad weather, but now gets to comment Saturday on how other teams and coaches are faring in their bowl games.

Wonder whether Addazio and Harsin will address the strange ending to their teams’ seasons during the broadcast.

Viewers for Christmas

The NBA has longed to own Christmas Day for sports fans in the same way that the NFL has been synonymous with Thanksgiving for a couple of generations now.

While NBA ratings for a regular-season game, even on a holiday, will never reach the same stratosphere as NFL ratings, the league is at least commonly associated with the holiday now even by people who aren’t huge fans.

ESPN and ABC have had the Christmas Day games since 2002, and Tuesday’s slate was their highest-rated yet. The four games totaled an 18.7 combined overnight rating, up from a 16.0 last Christmas.


The Celtics’ overtime victory over the Sixers earned a 4.7 overnight rating, up 27 percent from last year’s Celtics-Wizards game in the same window. The game earned a 7.0 overnight rating in the Boston market.