Whether it is the line changes of the Buffalo Sabres, the future of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen or the hatred of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, everyone knows that Western New Yorkers love to talk sports.
The evidence couldn’t have been stronger for the all-sports radio station WGR-AM in the fall ratings book, which measured listeners in Buffalo from Sept. 13 through Dec. 5.
The resurgence of the Sabres and the addition of Allen to the Bills appear to be two of the factors behind a significant increase in ratings for the programs produced by Pegula Sports and Entertainment and those independent of the teams on the all-sports station.
In the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. time period for the fall book in which “The Instigators” and “One Bills Live” air, WGR was No. 1 in the key demographic for sports stations of men 25-54 with a 13.1 share, almost double the 6.9 share it had in the same period a year ago.
“The Instigators” – with Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet – is No. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon in the key demo for sports stations, up 133 percent from a year ago in men 25-54 share to a 16.3 share.
“One Bills Live” – featuring Bills radio play-by-play man John Murphy and former Bills great Steve Tasker – is No. 1 in the demo from noon to 3 p.m., up 56 percent from a year ago to a 11.1 share.
The news seems to validate the addition of Tasker to the Bills show after Donald Jones left Murphy’s show and it was given a new name.
WGR also saw a significant spike in audience for its talk shows independent of those produced by the teams whose games it carries.
The morning show featuring Howard Simon and Jeremy White is No. 1 in the demo, up 28 percent from a year ago to a 17.1 share.
The late afternoon show featuring Mike Schopp and Chris (The Bulldog) Parker is No. 1, up 47 percent from a year ago to a 16.8 share of men 25-54.
Of course, it may be very difficult for WGR to continue its rating surge in the winter book with the Bills season over and the Sabres slumping after a very strong start to the season.