Sports podcasts Credit: Apple Podcasts

Goodbye, Mad Dog Russo, and hello, Pat McAfee.

A new report from SiriusXM and Edison Research confirms that sports fans continue to consume content about their favorite leagues and teams through audio. However, it finds that young sports fans overwhelmingly favor podcasts over talk radio. The years-long trend toward podcast consumption appears to be cresting among young Millennials and older Gen Z sports fans.

The study found that 64 percent of sports fans listen to audio content. Podcast listenership has nearly doubled since 2018. Among sports fans who listen to audio content, three times as many consumers between ages 13 and 34 listen to podcasts than radio.

The fascinating sticking point in the data from SiriusXM, Edison, and Group M is that many sports podcast listeners still haven’t found an array of shows they love. Forty percent of respondents said they did not think enough podcasts were covering the sports they liked, while 40 percent also said there weren’t enough differing perspectives among sports podcasts.

According to the study, sports audio consumers were more likely to be big sports fans and seek out communities around sports. Sports listeners spent an average of more than 6 hours consuming audio content per day.

However, among sports audio consumers, just 5 percent of respondents 55 or older reported listening to podcasts at all.

Remarkably, among Chartable’s global podcast rankings, the highest-charting sports podcast is The Herd from iHeartMedia and Colin Cowherd, at No. 98. It would appear demand is outpacing awareness. There is no shortage of podcast options for sports fans, but they seem to be striking out when searching for quality content.

That means publishers like ESPN, The Ringer, The Athletic, Bleacher Report and The Volume are marketing poorly, or sports fans don’t love their options.

[Edison Research]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.