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Caps TV Ratings Finish on Top

I wrote a sidebar press release this morning about some of the numerical markers of the Caps' popularity surge this month, and here comes another one. Last night's game on Comcast SportsyNet earned a 5.6 rating in the D.C. market, crushing the previous mark, which was all of 24 hours old. The network only has numbers since 1996, but the three highest-rated games since then have all taken place within the past two weeks.

The final regular season game earned a 2.5 rating, the highest on record for a regular season game. Game 4 of the playoffs was the most-watched Caps game of any sort on record. That mark (a 3.3, or 76,000 households) was topped four days later during Game 6, which had a 3.8 rating in the D.C. market.

Last night's audience was nearly 50 percent bigger. During one 15-minute increment that included overtime (9:45-10 pm), the D.C. rating was 8.6, which translates roughly to 198,000 households. It's a lot more people than will watch the Wiz playoff game in this market tomorrow, and it's exponentially larger than the team's anemic early-season television numbers.

Will any of this carry over to next fall? Will D.C. United fans still argue that their club has grown level with the Caps in the local hierarchy? Will Caps fans argue that their team has surpassed the Wiz? Or does everything reset now? I can't tell you how many fans I've spoken with whose explanation was a laugh and a "Washington loves its winners;" I guess we'll see.

I should note that WashingtonPost.com's sports content also enjoyed a massive boost yesterday thanks to the Caps (and Redskins), but I'll let the Comcast SportsyNet bloggers report on that.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 23, 2008; 4:29 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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