Arbitron adds PPM breakouts for pro football


Arbitron has announced the first product from its new Arbitron Sports division. It’s a detailed analysis of listening measured by the Portable People meter (PPM) panels for the past NFL season.

Arbitron Sports calls it the first comprehensive report of PPM play-by-play estimates for pro football. The Arbitron Sports Report: PPM Listening for Pro Football (notice the careful avoidance of any NFL trademarks) covers in game, play-by-play estimates for the 2009-2010 professional football season and includes 25 teams in 23 markets where the PPM service has been commercialized.

Results are available to subscribing agencies, advertisers, stations and teams. With these reports, Arbitron says advertisers are better able to evaluate the considerable audience sports play-by-play has throughout the season and in multiple markets across the US.

“While only one football team wins the Super Bowl, each professional team in those 23 PPM markets can consider their In Game broadcasts winners this year,” said Chris Meinhardt, Arbitron Sports Manager.

“Those teams with play-by-play broadcasts have believed for years radio was an integral part of a fan’s experience. Now, thanks to the level of audience detail provided by the PPM ratings service we can see that passion and loyalty with each professional team averaging more than 100,000 listeners for each broadcast,” Meinhardt said of the detailed PPM data.

The New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, of course, but New Orleans is not a PPM market – in fact, it is on indefinite hold as far as PPM is concerned, due to the market disruption from Hurricane Katrina. So, what teams were the top scorers with PPM? The Chicago Bears were tops in average game audience with 626,600 listeners. The New York Giants were second with 457,000 listeners per game followed by the Philadelphia Eagles with 422,400 listeners.

Arbiton ntoed that PPM also measures shares of listening that dominate local markets. In Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Boston, Minnesota and Baltimore, the in game broadcasts average more than 40 shares among all Men aged 25-54.

“What you see is ratings that closely resemble those in broadcast television for sporting events. Often regardless of a seasonal record, fans follow their team and radio provides opportunities for fans on the go,” Meinhardt said.

Arbitron Sports said it will be releasing 2009 professional baseball listening averages in early Spring 2010.