According to Dr. Larry Izamoje, Chairman/CEO of Brila Media, “MPS uses a generalized research template for listeners of music, news, politics, sports and family entertainment.
This template limits us to 20% in the rating because our licence as a thematic station makes Brila do only sports, just one of the categories when data is collected and collated.
“You cannot have Sports Radio and other stations for audience measurement and you ask questions like which station do you listen to most for music? Which is your preferred station for news? Where do you get political stories most?
Sadly, most users of the research reports do not know how the final rankings are arrived at. People who tune to us do so because of sports not general interest listeners who tune to their choice stations for general happenings of which sports is just one element.
The short sports programmes they hear on such stations are accommodated as part of their hear-all motives, not their main reason. To rightly measure us, you must have an only sports audience or sample population.
Only recently, a marketing research company, Sterling Business Resource Consulting reaffirmed our leading position in the thematic sports broadcasting sector in their research report. The research done in October 2021 showed that 50% of those who consider sports their main reason for listening to radio depend on Brila for sports content.
The other radio stations share the other 50% among those whose main reason for radio listenership is sports,the research showed. That research was strictly for sports as the reason for picking a station to listen to.
We have nothing against MPS as collating findings from music, news, politics, family even drama and using the total in all the categories to rank stations is their research instrument but as we only fit into one category, we are disadvantaged with the classifications.
It is the reason we asked them not to rank us. Brila will not write an exam ,so to speak, where its overall total score cannot be more than 20 whereas others have opportunities to score almost 100 percent.”
On January 18, 2022 the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed set up a committee for a new audience measurement template for the media industry in Nigeria.
Dr. Izamoje hopes the new committee will look into specialized sports broadcasting and come up with a research instrument that asks: Are you a sports fan?Is listening to sports the main or only reason you listen to radio? If listening to sports has been your main reason to tune to radio, which station is your first choice and which programmes and presenters?
It will be a shift from collating data on news, politics, family and music listenership and use same to judge a station not licensed for general broadcasting.It will give you the right sample population for researching sports radio because of its specialized nature.
“If I choose a station because of their general interest nature principally and they do a bit of sports, the station becomes where I listen to sports not because of their sports service quality but because I had chosen them for music,news,politics and others combined in the first place ‘he observed.
Dr Izamoje said Brila’s target audience are the 18-35 years old who, although passionate about their sports are whole beings who use everyday products. “They bath, use daily body needs, eat, drink, commute, communicate, do banking, have families etc. So in that sense we broadcast to the normal human being just that sports is his or her first passion’
The USA, he said, have over 200 sports radio stations. “They are not ranked by collating data on where people heard music, news and other stories on President Joe Biden and Democrats’
Audience measurement templates for specialized stations have to be separate ,he stressed adding that Nigeria has to evolve to that level because what obtains now via MPS has been the format for over 20 years.’ It has been so before the country got its first operating specialized radio, sports radio Brila FM, in 2002.
When done, our sacrifice in refusing to be judged on other parameters and the loss of revenue when media buyers solely use MPS as yard stick will be worth while. Happily some agencies now have their own ways of measuring our followership and our huge numbers on social media also tell how beloved we are.
A post on the arrival of the Super Eagles for their match against Guinea Bissau had 20,000 likes the other day. I am still looking for the general interest station with figures half of that. It is instructive in ratings” Dr Izamoje concluded.