Arbitron has new PPM metric to track sports involvement


The Custom Sports Services operation at Arbitron has announced a new metric, the Event Retention Index (ERI), to provide more clarity on the extent to which audiences “stay tuned” to sports broadcasts. As you would expect, it is based on Portable People Meter (PPM) data.

The Event Retention Index estimates the proportion of a station’s audience that stays tuned for the complete quarter hours (all 15 minutes) during a game relative to the average of the top 20 stations in the same market during Monday-Friday 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. For example, an ERI of 120 would indicate that listeners are 20% more likely to stay tuned for a complete quarter hour of a game broadcast than the average of the top 20 stations for the M-F 6A-7P daypart.

“The Event Retention index can provide tangible evidence that people who listen to sports broadcasts ‘stick around’ during games and are more likely to be exposed to advertising during the broadcast,” said Chris Meinhardt, Arbitron Sports Manager.
Arbitron’s Custom Sports Services measured ERI during the 2010 Major League Baseball season. The index indicated that people who tuned to MLB play-by-play on the radio were more likely to stay tuned in to a complete quarter hour of the broadcast than listeners to typical programming among the top 20 stations. For example, radio listeners, Persons 6+, who tuned in to an average San Diego Padres game over the course of the 2010 season were 31% more likely to listen for complete fifteen minutes of the broadcast compared with the average of the top 20 stations during the prime radio listening daypart of Monday – Friday 6:00 am and 7:00 pm.  In Minneapolis, Persons 6+ who listened to a Minnesota Twins broadcast were 40% more likely to stay tuned, and baseball listeners in Tampa Bay were 10% more likely to listen for an entire 15 minute segment of a Rays baseball broadcast.

RBR-TVBR observation: It is, of course, obvious that people listening to play-by-play of a sports event would be more likely to stay tuned to the game than folks listening to music or even talk shows. But while we always knew that, the benefit of PPM is that it can not only prove that assumption, but quantify it.