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Caps' TV Ratings Make Big Gains

According to Nielsen, the Caps' local TV ratings are up 140-percent year over last, which represents the biggest jump in the NHL. Chicago (71 percent) and San Jose (50 percent) are next.

Check out the whole list here, plus a ranking of the league's most watched hockey teams.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2008; 2:37 PM ET
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Question, what does the 1.2 rating mean? Is it a percentage of local households or a hard number? The reason I ask, Buff and Pitts are way up there in the rating but have piddly population base. So is their higher rating number a wash with us because of our higher population base?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 3, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

And yet the Wizards still get the lead most nights.

No offense Tarik, it's just tough to shake for us tormented types.

Posted by: Section117 | December 3, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse were the TV ratings for last night's game? :~}

Posted by: Baildog | December 3, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

1.2% of TVs in the area are tuned to the Caps game, including those that aren't even on. Whatever the "share" number is would be the % of TVs that are ON that are watching the game, so it's a higher number. But this link doesn't include the share.

I wonder how many households that 1.2% represents total???

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 3, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What are the Wizards' local ratings %?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | December 3, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty simple. It's a % of households in the area. For example, for the Sharks it's the SF-OAK-SF area. It would be silly to count the numbers straight up disregarding difference in population because the Rangers' 1.2 represents a whole lot more households that the Caps 1.2 in terms of pure numbers just because the area's population is far greater than that of DC.

Buffalo's 8.9 is staggering because it's so much higher than anyone else's, even the 2nd place Pitt. Then again, not too surprising since what else is there to do in Buffalo?

Posted by: ranndino | December 3, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wiz Numbers:
Up 12% from last year, but that number is sure to fall ;-)

Though, 10th share number in the NBA's top 10 list would be 4th on the NHL's top 10.

Trying to find the full numbers.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 3, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the "Washington DC" Nielsen area is about 2.3 mil households according to something I found on Nielsen's website, but I'm not sure.

Posted by: koalatek | December 3, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

For those wondering about the Wizards' ratings, Nielsen had a similar article two weeks ago about NBA ratings and didn't have the Wizards ratings but did say they had gone up 12 percent from last year. (Of course, this was only for the first three weeks of the season, while the Caps ratings are for almost two months.)

On the Sports Bog last spring, Steinberg revealed that the Wizards ratings last year were 0.9, which would mean a rating close to 1 with a 12 percent increase. One caveat, though: The Caps ratings for last season, according to Steinberg, were 0.8, which means that these percentages must be comparing early season ratings from last year to early season ratings for this year--because 1.2 is only a 50 percent increase from 0.8. So we really don't know what the Wizards ratings actually are, but I think it's safe to say they're below the Caps--even though the Washington Post sports columnists certainly don't treat the two teams that way. (Granted, their coach was fired, but the Wiz had FOUR columns written about them last week, while since the season started a grand total of one columnist has written once about the Caps--and that was an interview with Olie, not anything about the current team.)

Here are the links for the above referenced stories:

Posted by: TheFingerman | December 3, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

If that's true, 1.2% of 2,300,000 is 27,600 households per game.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 3, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I will never understand WaPo sports editors' stubborn refusal to up Caps coverage. I think part of it is the staff columnists know nothing about hockey and refuse to bother. Call it the Tony effect. Will Tarik one day get a column?

I think mostly though, the editors don't really like hockey that much and their personal preference colors the sports page.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 3, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

nice job Caps fans, that's a stat to be proud of.

btw, prospect Stefan Della Rovere of the Barrie Colts has been named to the WJHC Team Canada invite list, read more about it HERE!

Posted by: TJCAPS8 | December 3, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Update: Looks like we have to add the Great 8 to the injury situation. We sure hope he doesn't get hurt.

what are we going to do the rest of the season without a healthy Greeny,scratched Semin, and Feds bum ankle? And a overpriced goalie to boot? and an overpriced Russian winger (kozlov) and a got n heart Nylander (he's knows he is on his way out so why give it all -- all attitude)?

Team is in trouble boys and girls.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 3, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You're funny.

Posted by: Section117 | December 3, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

It's because there are two prima donna columnists that they have to coddle to. Since they don't like hockey and they drive the train, we don't get coverage.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 3, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Comcast has done a better job covering the Caps, but let's all talk about the pink elephant in the room - the Wizards. Does anyone care about them? Really? Get rid of them completely and no one would notice...then Ted gets to buy the arena...then we get an ice surface that doesn't rival pond hockey.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 3, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

who says DeNunzio don't like hockey? I know he ain't paying no 50 cents for a coke

Posted by: _stevo | December 3, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

That is good news, especially for what is the #4 or #5 sport in this country! I hope we're faring better than the #%@!^&# LPGA, eh wot?

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It would be even higher if Comcast carried Versus.

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | December 3, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Have a Hot Dog Vendor cam tomorrow night and watch the raitings SOAR!!!

Posted by: SA-Town | December 3, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Windjammer, reading your cut and paste posts over and over has gotten old. Do you have anything new to offer?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 3, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Numbers are very interesting. The numbers are up in some places where the teams aren't doing very well. LA, Phoenix, Tampa.

Versus numbers have been up each year. Some of that growth has to do with the widening reach of the network, but still.

Is there starting to be a young blood effect (OV, Crosby--yeah I know--, et al.) that's driving general interest in the NHL?

Posted by: SuperG5 | December 3, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R - I think if we ignore windjammer, he might go away...

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

it would be interesting to know the ratings for games in HD vs SD.

i like windjammers comments. particularly since he doesn't bother to correct his spelling and grammar mistakes when he cuts and pastes. come to think of it, he's probably eaten a bit of paste in his day.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 3, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Windjammer should change his name to katzenjammer (sorry for you youngsters who don't get that - don't worry, its not that funny anyway)

Posted by: NJNJ | December 3, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon - Lincoln Holdings, which Ted is part of, owns something like 44% of the Wizards. I don't think he'd be too happy if they just "went away" haha.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 3, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is, does he keep the same crap in his Buffer, or does he go back to a previous post and Copy-Paste when he feels we've forgotten about him.

Anyone hear if Sonja Thomas will make a return appearance this year for the $1 dog night?

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 3, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

NJNJ, appology accepted.

Posted by: superpaqman | December 3, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

FFS, yes she's going to be a judge again.

Posted by: superpaqman | December 3, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Tarik get a column? I would be happy if they just gave him a weekly chat.

As for the columnists, don't hold your breath. One is retired (effectively), one has a day job with the Four Letter who is now his primary employer, one lives in New York City, one loves baseball and golf and the other is a basketball guy.

I read the Post daily, but I know that I need to go elsewhere for my hockey coverage.

Posted by: metatext | December 3, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

thisismydcsportsopinion - Comcast DOES carry Versus. It's channel 64 here in College Park.

Posted by: mytwocents | December 3, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Anyone need a pair of tickets for the Islanders game Thursday? Lower prefered

Posted by: Riddler1 | December 3, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Comcast produces Versus....... It is their channel.

LOL @ the Katzenjammer, Jose Crapadore, and Jose Three-a-goal names.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 3, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, metatext. What did happen to the Tarik weekly chat? There was one last year when there was much less interest in the team for most of the year. There are weekly chats for the Skins, Wiz and Nats. Why no regular Caps discussion? DeNunzio wrote a comment a few weeks ago ab"out how they would be timed to "special events." I thought that means something like Olie's return with Tanmpa would be a special event, but instead it meant the day before Thanksgiving. I guess we should look forward to a chat on Christmas Eve and right before Presidents Day.

Posted by: TheFingerman | December 3, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

not to pile on, but i thought Jose Three-or-more was funny

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 3, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Been out all day. Decided that I was too pissed about last night to write anything intelligent or coherent. Still am pissed about it. Am tired of hearing the excuses and the justifications. There was no excuse for what happened last night. So aggravating to watch the team underachieve like this. We know they're good if they'll just get out there and frickin' do it.

Who do we have to take out back and kick in the balls to get some energy and passion going?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 3, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Non-game thoughts:

Backstrom cartoon was beyond lame. :P
SombreroGuy, had a few issues with that trike did we? XD

Posted by: kittypawz | December 3, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Woops,I meant COX instead of COMCAST.

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | December 3, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The Tony effect - how true. I can hardly watch MNF these days. It could be worse Caps fans... if you lived in Atlanta like me, where I have never EVER heard hockey mentioned on sports talk radio. It's all Bulldogs and SEC, all the time. At least the Falcons get some (much deserved) love. But the Thrashers? Who?

Posted by: CAP-lanta | December 3, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I had NO IDEA that Peter Laviolette got fired today! wow i am S L O W!

Posted by: rachel216 | December 3, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

rating won't stay up if we continue our newfound losing ways

Posted by: ergoroc | December 3, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to watch the game when it's NOT TELEVISED like last night.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | December 3, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Instead of the Caps-Panthers last night, Comcast gave us the Wizards for "sloppy seconds". Sorry, couldn't resist.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | December 3, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse


"I don't think he'd be too happy if they just "went away" haha."

I think he'd be happier if the group could somehow raise that 44% to somewhere between 51% and 100%.

Posted by: Yoshietree | December 3, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, guys. Be glad it wasn't televised. Debacle is only the mildest of words for what happened last night.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 3, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

If anybody's interested:


ANA - CHI: (interesting game, Huet making good saves)

Posted by: mauree | December 3, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

@Riddler1 - are you serious? And if so, how much?

Also - I have a pair of tickets myself, somewhere in the 400s sections - I am not sure exactly where they are, since I am in NJ and they are not.

Wound up not going to the Rangers-Pooftas, er - Penguins game tonight; too unwell, and got out of disaster recovery too late.

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - re: the Backstrom cartoon. Lamer than the Ovechkin "Russian Machine" toon? This I gotta see!

Too new to be on YouTube... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I miss the "give 110% 100% of the time"-type commercial :D - maybe later in the season?

Posted by: mauree | December 3, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Irockthe red

Yes, I have two tickets in section 107 that I can't use for the Islanders. I can trade them for an upcoming game or sell them for what I paid which is $70 for both Face is $80 each
410 430 1184 EST till midnite if anyone can help a fellow fan out

Posted by: Riddler1 | December 3, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Pickering Ontario must be embarrassed, where Avery is from.

Glad he won't be coming to DC now that the ratings are up :)

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 4, 2008 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Esskay the Fury

Posted by: SA-Town | December 4, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Riddler1 | December 4, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Riddler. Looks like a tough one to get rid of. Islanders are not a big draw. I am in the same boat and have mine up on ticket exchange. I expect that I will be exchanging them after the fact. Good luck.

Posted by: _Mark | December 4, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mark. Is that a feature for STH's only?

Posted by: Riddler1 | December 4, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

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