"The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York averaged 5.8 percent of the local radio audience among men ages 25-54 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in January, placing him third among all stations in that demographic for the month and ahead of Mike Francesa on WFAN, according to Nielsen Audio data.
Francesa ranked sixth at 5.0 percent of the audience only for over-the-air listeners during the period, which covers Jan. 3-30. He also averaged 0.7 percent of the audience via live streaming, bringing his total to 5.7, one-tenth of a point behind Kay.
ESPN stations include digital streaming and over-the-air listening in one number while WFAN’s are reported separately because the two delivery methods air different commercials.
Traditionally, radio stations measure themselves in full quarterly books, so the January figures should be treated as a partial score, akin to the first intermission of a hockey game.
In the full autumn ratings book, Francesa edged Kay, 5.9 to 5.8, over the air and 6.4 to 5.8 with streaming included.
The ratings battle between Francesa and Kay is by far the most closely watched in local sports talk radio, and it only has intensified since Francesa returned to the air last May 1 after a 4 ½ month absence.
Francesa told Newsday in October that his dual role as a traditional host and operator of an app launched last August had “become overly complicated” and said he might have to give up WFAN to focus on his app.
But executives at Entercom, WFAN’s parent company, appear committed to keeping him in the fold, and have sought ways for him to remain, at least for the near term.