Anyone who has been paying attention lately knows that 98.5 The Sports Hub, CBS Radio's Boston arm, has been dominating the local radio ratings of late, taking with them the once-unopposed WEEI.
Some worried if the ratings boost for 98.5 had anything to do with the network's flagship rights to the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins, teams which recently enjoyed highly successful seasons, while EEI carried a lackluster Celtics team and Red Sox squad that had a difficult 2010 campaign.
While the Arbitron ratings for July suggest that the Pats and B's gave The Sports Hub a boost, they also confirm what many already knew: 98.5 is simply more popular among the key 25-54 demographic.
According to Chad Finn's roundup over at Boston.com Friday, 98.5 again won the morning and afternoon drive segments, with EEI not even making it into the top five.
Whether or not WEEI has a chance to get back into the running for number one will depend upon a number of things, primarily how they manage their morning drive slot, which Dennis and Callahan have turned relatively archaic, but also how they handle a potential and probable NBA lockout in the months ahead. With 98.5 having the Patriots and Bruins, a Celtics-less winter could doom EEI for good.