There isn’t necessarily a juicy headline coming out of the Caps’ 2013 TV ratings, but I like to publish stuff like this for posterity. So here are a few bullet points, via Nielsen data:
* The 45 Caps games broadcast on Comcast SportsNet during this shortened regular season earned a 1.62 average household rating in the Washington market. That’s eight percent higher than last year’s final average of 1.50. It’s also the second-highest Capitals regional TV rating ever, behind the 2010-2011 season, which earned a 1.78 and ended with the Caps’ as the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
* Not surprisingly, the ratings went up as the playoffs neared and the wins piled up. The last five broadcasts on CSN averaged a 2.12 household rating.
* The network’s Caps broadcasts averaged a combined audience of about 45,000 households in the Washington and Baltimore markets this season.
* Of course, a shortened season can be great for ratings, and so the numbers were up in many U.S. markets. Heading into the final week of the regular season, 17 of the 21 teams whose ratings were obtained by SportsBusiness Journal had seen increases over the 2011-12 season.
* Because comparisons are inevitable, the Nats on MASN, MASN2 and WDCW averaged around a 2.55 rating in the D.C. market in 2012. The Wizards on Comcast SportsNet averaged a 0.78 rating in the D.C. market in 2012, which was ahead only of the Bobcats among U.S. franchises.
* Comcast SportsNet, lest you’ve forgotten, will televise Games 1, 3, 4, and, if necessary, Game 5 of the upcoming Rangers series. Capitals Central, the network’s 30-minute pregame show, will air prior to all of the CSN games, while 30 minutes of Capitals Postgame Live will follow all first-round games, regardless of which network is broadcasting. Last year’s series with the Bruins was the highest-rated Caps playoff series in CSN history.
* In a marginally related story (hockey!), online retailer Fanatics.com reports that over the last
four week of the regular season, Ovechkin moved more product than any other NHL player. He had been fourth the past few months before he and his team took off.