In July, we took a long look at local sports radio ratings and discussed why KHTK 1140 AM (the Kings flagship station) was sliding perilously into the void. Well, KHTK actually held on this past quarter, throwing up a 2.7 share which is identical to spring's figures and just the slighest notch below summer 2006.
To recap: KHTK's spring 2007 ratings were a full share lower than spring 2006. A 2.7 share, in radio terms, means all of radios turned on in Sacramento for a 15-minute increment, 2.7% of those listeners tuned into KHTK for at least 5 minutes.
Is a 2.7 share KHTK's core base? Have those recent quarters which listenership has exceeded that figure solely stemmed from temporary success for (or interest in) the Kings? Obviously, the Kings are KHTK's solitary draw. The entire region now gets a second all-sports station (ESPN's KCTC, which doesn't show up on Arbitron's release) and much of the region can get the Bay Area's KNBR 680 AM. The Kings really are the draw. When the Kings suck, fewer people care. That means they buy fewer tickets, they watch less on TV, and I assume they listen less frequently.
The Kings don't really figure into the summer. That would seem to explain why KHTK's summer numbers haven't fluctuated. Spring plummeted because there wasn't a playoff run or a playoff series; the Kings' crustiness didn't change anything about the summer broadcast schedule.
This would suggest the fall 2007 numbers shouldn't be too much different than last year's 3.2 share. We'll find out in January.