The irreplaceable John Ourand from the irreplaceable SportsBusiness Journal recently published a mid-season look at local MLB TV ratings, and the news was good for the locals.
Through July 5, Nats games on MASN/MASN2 and WUSA were averaging a 2.86 household rating in the D.C. market, up 28 percent from the same point last season.
Orioles games on MASN/MASN2/WJZ, meanwhile, were averaging a 6.04 household rating in the Baltimore market, up 33 percent from the same point a year ago.
That meant the Nats had the fifth-biggest increase in local TV ratings to that point, while the Orioles had the third-biggest surge.
(The Padres and Royals had the biggest local increases, while the Braves were just above the Nats. The numbers cover only the league’s 29 U.S.-based teams. See the full story here.)
The Orioles’ big bump gave them the sixth-highest local rating in Major League Baseball, while the Nats ranked 19th, a far cry from the old, last-place days.
Interestingly, the two teams have nearly identical local audiences. Orioles broadcasts in the Baltimore market were averaging about 66,000 homes, while Nats games in the D.C. market were averaging about 67,000 homes. (Traditionally, the Orioles have attracted far more viewers in the D.C. market than the Nats have in the Baltimore market, so the total regional audience for the O’s is probably larger.)
Because of the different sizes of the TV markets, the Nats rank 19th in total local household average, while the Orioles rank 20th.
One other note for longtime Nats fans: The Astros, who just moved to the newly created CSN Houston — which is having some distribution issues — are averaging just a 0.43 rating and 10,000 homes per game. Those are the lowest local marks since the Nats’ TV audience bottomed out in 2008.