A few observations about local sports television on Wednesday night, when your remote fingers better have gotten a fine cardio workout:
* The Capitals led the way with a combined average household rating of 4.34 in the Washington market, according to Nielsen overnight numbers. That’s via a 3.42 average rating on CSN, and a 0.92 rating on NBC Sports Network. No offense, but unless you are a Leafs fan, don’t watch the game on NBC Sports Network. C’mon.
* The Wizards finished second with an average household rating of 3.28 in the Washington market, where their first-round game against the Hawks was shown on CSN Plus. First-round games are typically picked up by either TNT or ESPN, but as this one wasn’t (it was on NBA TV nationally, but not in the local market), it became the highest-rated playoff game ever on CSN Mid-Atlantic or CSN Plus.
* The Nats finished third with a 2.57 average household rating on MASN in the Washington market, according to Nielsen overnight numbers.
* The Caps game peaked with a 6.34 combined rating near the end of the game. The Wizards game peaked with a 4.3 rating around the same time (in the roughly 9:30-9:45 time frame). The Nats game peaked later, after the playoff games were finished, with about a 3.36 rating.
* Since you care more about people, let’s use those numbers instead. The Caps averaged about 159,000 viewers between the two networks. The Wizards averaged approximately 121,000 viewers. And the Nats averaged approximately 99,000 viewers.
* At the best moment, the peak audience impression made by D.C. sports fans — or at least for people watching D.C. sports teams in the D.C. market — was about 489,000 viewers: 229,000 on the Caps game, 158,000 on the Wizards game, and 102,000 on the Nats game. And yes, it seems likely that at least some of those people were double-counted by flipping between networks within the same 15-minute measuring slot. But anyhow, in that 9:30-9:45 window, many hundreds of thousands of people were watching Washington sports teams.
* And yet many hundreds of thousands of people are not reading this blog today and those people are bad and should feel bad.
* You’ll recall that two years ago we were presented with a quite similar scenario: a weekday night in April, the Caps playing a road Game 4, the Wizards playing a Game 2 (although that one was on the road), and the Nats playing a regular season game (although that one was at home.) That night, according to Nielsen overnights, the Caps averaged a 3.28 rating, the Wizards a 2.36 and the Nats a 2.50. So all three teams did better this time around.
* CSN Mid-Atlantic also recorded its highest-ever streaming numbers for Wednesday night’s Wizards game. (The network has been streaming those games for about three years).