I’m obviously obsessed with television ratings for D.C.’s pro teams, and how they rank to other franchises around the country. I don’t know why. I just am.
Usually, these comparisons are limited to MLB, NHL and NBA franchises, based on SportsBusiness Journal’s twice-a-year look at the regional sports network rankings. In the most recently completed seasons, according to SBJ, the Nats ranked 27th of 29 teams in MLB ratings, the Caps ranked eighth among the NHL’s U.S. franchises, and the Wizards ranked 25th of 28 teams in NBA ratings.
I don’t know that anyone compiles year-end local NFL ratings, but the league itself has been sending out the weekly ratings for every market in which the NFL is that week’s top-rated programming. This obviously isn’t the world’s best source for comparison — if more people in St. Louis turn into the Cardinals game than football in one week, for example, the Rams’ local rating will not appear on the NFL’s list.
Still, it’s kind of interesting to note that since the Redskins’ bye, they’ve ranked right in the middle of the pack each week, at 14th, 15th and 15th.
Which NFL markets are ahead of them? New Orleans, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Buffalo have all been in the top 5 each week that their NFL team has not been on bye. Detroit’s been ahead of D.C. three weeks in a row. So have Cleveland, Minneapolis and Indianapolis. Six markets — Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Tennessee, Kansas City and Charlotte — have topped D.C. in at least two of the past three weeks, mostly because of bye-week issues.
So while I don’t have an exact ranking for Washington in the NFL ratings comparison, we’re pretty clearly middle-of-the-pack.