But which sports talk stations are the most popular in the nation?
We used to have no idea.
Because unlike in television where ratings are released instantly, radio ratings are hard to find. They only come out monthly and the public data from Arbitron is scant.
These ratings are the broadest possible measuring device -- the only numbers that are public from Arbirtron. These ratings measure from six in the morning to midnight, persons ages six plus. This doesn't tell you which individual shows are the highest rated and it also doesn't tell you how many people are listening to each station.
All this metric does is tell us which sports stations dominate their local markets the most and which are the highest rated sports talk stations in the nation for the month of October 2012. (Again, it does not measure the number of listeners since the size of the market dictates how many listeners you can receive.)
Without further ado, here are the top 25 highest rated sports talk stations in the nation:
This is a massive, massive number that reflects how engaged the city of Detroit was to the
world series run. It also reflects how dominant WXVT is in Detroit.
2. Nashville WGFX 6.8
3. San Francisco KNBR 6.1
The final of the massive number trio, after here there's a good drop off into high ratings.
4. Minneapolis KFXN 4.8
6. Seattle KIRO 4.1
7. Providence WVEI 4.0
8. Philadelphia WIP 3.9
9. Baltimore WJZ 3.7
9. Pittsburgh KDKA 3.7
9. Raleigh WCMC 3.7
None of these top 11 stations have competitors that are remotely close in ratings.
12. St. Louis WXOS 3.4
The sports talk radio station that began it all, WFAN is a ratings behemoth in New York City and surrounding areas.
13. Memphis WMFS 3.2
15. Chicago WSCR 3.1
16. Dallas KTCK 3.0
17. Cleveland WKRK 2.9
18. Boston WEEI 2.8
It's fair to call Boston the most competitive sports talk radio market in the country. But note that even if you combine the two Boston stations they still just equal Nashville. And are still well behind the numbers posted by Detroit, which are just otherworldly.
18. Phoenix KTAR 2.8
20. Tampa WDAE 2.7
20. Sacaramento KCTC 2.7
22. Dallas KESN 2.6
It's also fair to call Dallas the second most competitive sports talk radio market in the country.
23. Portland KXTG 2.5
24. Norfolk, Va. WVSP 2.4
25. Kansas City KCSP 2.3
If your station was not included here it means it either isn't in one of the 52 largest markets in the country or it didn't receive higher than a 2.3 rating according to the latest Arbitron ratings.