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The Great Boston Sports Radio Battle

The Boston sports radio market is undergoing some serious change. Namely, the upstarts from 98.5 Sports Hub are killing WEEI’s The Big Show, the long-time drive-time leader.

Felger and Massarotti, the FM station’s signature show, saw its share in the 25-54 year old male category – so the dudes who listen to sports radio – jump 24 percent from September to October while its competitor stayed static.

George Cain, a guest contributor on Boston Sports Media Watch, offers four reasons why he believe this happened.

One item specifically caught our eye.

Hockey:

For many years hockey was a third rail in this town for sports talk, as the Bruins have struggled with the perception that they have an ownership more interested in money than championships and for that reason never made for good radio discussion. Felger is often hypocritical in his praise of hockey while ridiculing the NBA, but there is no doubt he is the first person that has made hockey talk viable in the Boston market. This is done without giving the Bruins a wet kiss, something common with some of the other sports teams on WEEI.

We’ve mentioned this before, but hockey, quietly, is growing a following. It’s still solidly the fourth major sport – it probably doesn’t even make sense to lump it in with football, basketball, and baseball – but the viewers are returning. If you were looking to build a brand, adding hockey to your offerings wouldn’t be the worst idea.

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