Wizards TV ratings spike in Game 5


(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

If television ratings are an indication of local excitement over sports teams, interest in the Wizards is rising quickly.

You’ll recall that Game 1 earned a combined 5.34 rating on TNT and Comcast SportsNet. And that Game 4 — a Sunday matinee — earned a 5.7 rating on ABC, considerably lower than the rating for the same game in Chicago.

Well, Game 5 earned a combined household rating of 8.51 in the D.C. market, equal to about 206,000 homes, according to Nielsen figures. The game got a 3.47 rating on Comcast SportsNet, and a 5.04 rating on TNT. That makes it the most-watched Wizards game in Washington since Game 1 of the 2005 second-round series against Miami, which got an 8.57 on ABC.

And yes, that means that more people watched Game 5 of Wizards-Bulls — a mostly unsightly affair — than watched any of the LeBron-Wizards series from 2006-2008. As a whole, the five-game with Chicago series — across multiple networks — averaged a 6.23 rating in the Washington market, making it the highest-rated Wizards series since that second-round meeting with the Heat in 2005, which averaged a 6.97.

The Tuesday night D.C. rating peaked during the final quarter-hour of the game, from 10:15-10:30 pm, when the rating was an 11.14 or 270,000 households according to Nielsen figures.

The game also fared well in Baltimore, where CSN and TNT combined to average a 5.05 household rating.

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