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Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 08/15/2012

Nats TV ratings on MASN now up 62 percent


(Greg Fiume - GETTY IMAGES)
I noted in late June that the Nationals — once a national punchline for their minuscule television audience — were well inside the range of respectability, with ratings up 53 percent year-to-year.

Well, the season has gone on. And the team has kept winning. And the ratings keep going up. The latest Nielsen numbers I have indicate that, through Aug. 7, the Nats were averaging a 2.40 rating on MASN, MASN2 and DC50 in the D.C. market. That number represents an increase of 62.2 percent over last year’s numbers at this time. It’s the biggest increase in baseball.

It also means the Nats’ average audience is about 56,800 households in the Washington market. Which is a lot more than the 9,000 household abomination from the summer of 2008. Honestly, the increase in people watching Nats games has been every bit as dramatic as the team’s improvement, if not quite as sexy.

(Well, not you. You’re very sexy when you watch Nats games. Promise. Especially when you bust out the Curly W pajamas.)

More details:

* Nothing indicates the link between wins and ratings as clearly as the growth in average household ratings this season. In April, the Nats averaged a 1.8. In May, it was a 2.2. In June, it was a 2.4. And in July, it was a 3.1. I’m guessing those extra tens of thousands of households didn’t just suddenly decide they felt like watching baseball in July. People like winning teams.

* The team’s 2011 final average in this market was a 1.44, which was slightly down from the 2011 average through this particular point (1.48). That means that, even if the Nats just keep their current 2.40 ratings average, the year-end percentage increase will go up from 62 percent to 67 percent.

* Because the comparisons are inevitable, in 2011, the Caps averaged a 1.46 rating on Comcast SportsNet in the D.C. market, down 18 percent from the previous season. That’s about 34,500 homes. Numbers via SportsBusiness Journal.

* Because the comparisons are inevitable, in 2011, the Wizards averaged a 0.88 rating on Comcast SportsNet in the D.C. market, down about 30 percent from the previous season. That’s about 20,888 homes. Numbers via SportsBusiness Journal.

* Which means that, yes, the Nats are currently averaging as many households in the D.C. market as the Caps and Wizards did last season combined.

* Because the comparisons are inevitable, Robert Griffin III’s preseason debut on Comcast SportsNet drew a rating of 9.15 in the D.C. market, good for about 216,000 households. Different world. You could add every Caps household with every Wizards household with every Nats household, and RGIII would still just laugh.

* No, I haven’t forgotten the Orioles. Through Aug. 7, the O’s were averaging a 4.3 rating on MASN, MASN2 and WJZ in the Baltimore market . That’s an increase of 36.4 percent from last season’s average. It equals about 48,100 households in the Baltimore market.

* So yes, the Orioles are attracting a significantly higher rating, but the Nats are attracting a significantly greater number of households, due to market size. Sadly, I don’t currently have the numbers for the Orioles ratings in D.C. and/or the Nats ratings in Baltimore.

* As long as we’re on the topic, SportsBusiness Daily recently published a list of the top U.S. markets for NBC’s primetime coverage of the Olympics. Washington was tied for 17th, with a massive 19.6 average rating. Baltimore was 42nd, with a less massive 17.1 average. Two Virginia cities were in the top 10: Norfolk (6th) with a 21.2, and Richmond (10th) with a 20.6.

* If you haven’t yet, please do make sure to read James Wagner’s examination of the ongoing tussle between the Nats and MASN.

* If this wasn’t enough numbers to make your head hurt, you’re weird.

By  |  01:55 PM ET, 08/15/2012

Categories:  Nats, Orioles | Tags:  MASN, Comcast SportsNet

 
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