Nationals still have MLB’s smallest TV audience

After the first week of the baseball season, Nats TV ratings were way up. During the team’s late-June win streak, the average ratings were still about 18 percent up, year-to-year.

But the end of the year brings a sad kazoo sound, rather than a triumphant submarine bleat. SportsBusiness Journal’s annual year-end ratings wrap is out, and it shows that the Nats still have the smallest average regional sports network audience in MLB. The publication reports that Nats games on MASN and MASN2 averaged a 1.22 mark in the Washington market this season, down 4.7 percent from 2010.

And while the team’s average TV rating was better than those of the Angels and Dodgers, market size calculations mean that the Nats’ average television audience of 29,000 was the worst in the big leagues.

Though, in fairness, they were really close to the A’s (31,000), Orioles (31,000), Marlins (32,000), Royals (33,000) and Astros (33,000).

And not really close to the Yankees (310,000) or Phillies (276,000).

This is the first year the Nats have gone backward in TV ratings since I’ve been paying attention. In 2010, the Nats averaged a 1.4 and 33,000 households. In 2009, it was a 0.60 rating and 14,000 households. In 2008, it was even worse.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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