Saturday, 22 January 2022



On January 19, 2022, Dr. Larry Izamoje was one of 63 people inducted as fellows of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). It came at a time when Brila Media’s online and social media platforms, particularly Sports Radio Brila FM, the company’s page on Facebook had increasing numbers. With the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, one post alone that captured imagination was the arrival of Nigeria’s Super Eagles for final training before their match against Guinea Bissau. 

That post had 20,000 likes.Other posts like “Predict and Win”, “Eagles in Training”, etc, also attracted likes and comments in thousands. It led to the curiosity to know why a man who had been a member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) since the year 2000 and now inducted as a fellow refused to have his organization, Brila FM on the Media Planning Services (MPS) ranking of media organizations across Nigeria. Dr. Izamoje explained why Brila is not on MPS.

“We are not on MPS because we are a specialized station and they rank with a general template. Our licence limits us to just one sector principally and that is sports but their ranking is based on total numbers from  music, news, politics, sports and society/family . Scoring each of the categories and collating figures therefrom is limiting because we can only be scored in  sports service. That places us at a huge disadvantage and from the beginning tells that we can only score at most twenty percent. That is clearly why we do not work with MPS. 

They have a general research template that is not in sync with our sports-only licence.It is not their fault.They have been using the format before we came onboard in 2002 and ,perhaps,given the cost of a category-only research they have not come up with what we can accept.

We only qualify for one of their 5 or 6 points-gathering categories and when summed up, we are disadvantaged. 

Yes, we agree that this has cost us media campaigns that would have come to us but we are happy that so many advertisers on their own know we are the leaders in our sports sector. Indeed, the recent report of Sterling Business Research Consulting shows that 50% of those who tune to radio only or mainly for sports depend on us for their stories.All others share the remaining 50% that research done in October 2021  showed. 

Also heart-thumping is the fact that our sports-listeners-only figures on social media are huge. Those who tune to us or follow us online do so mainly because they want to listen to sports.It is the only thing we are licensed to fully do .We see asking people who tune to radio because of music,news,politics,little sports and others which their station of choice is as research bias.It is also unacceptable to ask general interest listeners where they hear sports.They hear sports as an excusable dose of the general interest offering for which they had chosen a station. 

In research,your sample population must be right.You do not go to a Mercedes factory expecting to see a Jaguar .So we asked MPS not to rank us. If I like a station for music and they do sports in between it becomes where I hear sports, not the best sports station. Get a research instrument that identifies those who tune to radio only or mainly because of sports and ask them their station of choice for sports. 

Dr Izamoje explained how sports radio is perceived in the USA. ‘It is a format that targets the 18-35 year old who while being a normal being is expressive of his first passion(sports). He or she baths, uses daily needs, commutes, communicates, does banking, eats and drinks ete.So brands use his or her first passion to reach him or her quickly. At a time, WFAN New York was America’s most popular radio station.Sports radio listeners are normal,everyday human beings who just display their passion while using products and services  every other person uses.”

Calls for specialized stations ratings is something we think will eventually happen because even the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Information and Culture is unhappy with the kind of audience measurement we have in Nigeria. It is why the Honorable Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on January 18, 2022 seeing how audience measurement has fared and with nothing for new media   and digitization beginning inaugurated a committee to look at audience measurement specifically and generally. You don’t rank a specialized licence with  general licences. Those whose main reason for tuning to radio is sports must first be separated to have a good sample population before asking them which their favourite station for sports is.If the sample population or size is wrong,your research is already defective’said Izamoje who hold the Business School ,Lausanne ,Switzerland doctorate for academic research in changing work values and labour mobility in Lagos,Nigeria. 

‘I took Brila out of MPS and communicated reasons to them. Sadly, so many industry players who wonder why Brila is not on MPS  see rankings but do not know how they are arrived at .Some now do their own research and know if you want to more easily reach millions using sports,it has to be Brila.We thank God social media engagement figures are now also used.The other day just one our social media posts on the Super Eagles had 20,000 likes and a predict and win post just before match kickoff got over 5,000 likes in 3 hours.

Dr Izamoje stresses that audience measurement in Nigeria must evolve with changes in the industry.”When MPS started for example,there was no sports radio,no social media. Audience measurement has to specifically incorporate these.’

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