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Wiz TV Ratings: Barely Behind Caps

People are actually still watching. (By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

When I wrote last week about how the Caps' TV ratings were on a record pace, the natural question was: how do these Caps numbers compare to the Wizards' TV ratings? The somewhat surprising answer: the Caps' numbers are higher, but not by much.

(Brief interlude: The overnight ratings for Sunday's NHL All-Star game on Versus came down strong for D.C. Our market ranked seventh in the U.S. with a 1.53 rating, ahead of "hockey-town" towns like Denver, Detroit and Chicago. The overall Versus rating was around 0.7, peaking at 0.95 for the shootout.)

UPDATED and FIXED: Anyhow, the Caps are averaging a 1.2 rating (27,859 households) this season, while the Wizards are averaging a 1.1 0.94 (21,823 households) on CSN and CSN+ combined. So that's a difference of 2,300 6,000 or so households for the first-place hockey team over the last-place basketball team.

(The seven Wiz games on CSN+ are getting a considerably lower rating than the CSN games, which might give credence to all those arguments about MASN being hurt by the whole MASN2 thing. But the CSN+ ratings are way up over last year, and the overall Wiz ratings have gone up from last season. Complicated. And bizarre.)

The point is, the Caps are out-pointing the Wizards this season. And while the Caps are middle-of-the-pack among the U.S. NHL markets in television things, the Wiz are clearly at the bottom of the barrel. I haven't broken these down into household numbers yet, and I will if one person asks me to, but here are the U.S. NBA teams, ranked by the television ratings on their primary local broadcaster, according to Sports Business Journal.

1. Cavs 7.7
2. Spurs 5.8
3. Jazz 4.5
4. Lakers 4.2
5. Blazers 4.0
6. Pistons 3.9
7. Celtics 3.7
8. Suns 3.4
9. Kings 2.7
10. Bulls 2.6
11. Rockets 2.6
12. Hornets 2.6
13. Bucks 2.4
14. Nuggets 2.2
15. Heat 2.2
16. Grizzlies 2.0
17. Pacers 1.9
18. Magic 1.6
19. 76ers 1.5
20. Warriors 1.5
21. Hawks 1.3
22. Thunder 1.2
23. Mavs 1.2
24. Knicks 1.2
25. T-Wolves 1.1
26. Wizards 1.1 (On CSN, not CSN+)
27. Nets 0.6
28. Bobcats 0.5
29. Clippers 0.5

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 27, 2009; 2:27 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media , Wizards  
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Two questions:

1)Dan, considering that the Caps ratings weren't broken out into CSN regular and CSN Plus, I assume--perhaps incorrectly-- that both were included in the Caps' 1.2 rating. Shouldn't you put the two together for the Wizards as well? By my calculations, that would bring the Wiz ratings down a tenth to about 1.0.

2) e

Posted by: TheFingerman | January 27, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Accidentally hit the submit button before getting to point number two above, which was....

Even with that possible tenth of a point decline, I'm still surprised that Wizards ratings, at least on CSN, have actually gone up from last year. That seems unexplainable considering the record of the team. Impressive, but doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: TheFingerman | January 27, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the follow-up post, Fingerman. I thought that I'd missed a multiple-choice quiz (with the answer being, I assume, "none of the above").

Thanks for the MASN ratings point, Mr. S.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Well at least .2 ratings points can be attribued to the 'Juan Dixon effect.'

Posted by: ThisGuy | January 27, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I haven't broken these down into household numbers yet, and I will if one person asks me to, but here are the U.S. NBA teams, ranked by the television ratings on their primary local broadcaster, according to Sports Business Journal.

Please do.

Posted by: RickyRage | January 27, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

the 21K households for the wiz are actually just people who left the tv on CSN after the previous nights caps game.

also, a lot more wiz fans are staying home and watching the games vs. actually going to the games.

for the cap at home, thats 28K watching on tv plus 17K at vc for a total of 45K eyeballs. the wiz have 22K watching on tv and 12k at vc. thats 34K eyeballs (or eyelids as most wiz fans probably fell asleap after the 1st quarter).

also, how many folks watching the wiz are actually watching tim duncan, kobe, lebron etc? ie. the susan o'malley effect.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 27, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

How could anyone bear to watch the Wizards, they are so painful to watch.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 27, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So the Caps outrate the Wizards, the Wild outrate the T-Wolves, and the Flyers outrate the Sixers. Meanwhile, the Rangers are pretty close to the Knicks (1.03 to 1.2), the Pistons are only slightly ahead of the Wings (3.9 to 3.7) and the Nuggets and Avalanche aren't that far apart (2.2 to 1.6). And while the Blackhawks and Bruins trails the Bulls and Celtics by at least, both are up big percentage wise this year. Sure, in places like Phoenix and Los Angeles, there's no comparison between NBA and NHL ratings, but in a bunch of major cities, it appears the NHL is at least solidly on the map, and not as far behind the NBA in interest as ESPN and other media would have you believe.

Posted by: TheFingerman | January 27, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

After just reading that Blatche will now be out for 2-4 weeks... I have a new proposal for keeping Wiz ratings up...
What if the other teams we play agree to sit out 2 of their starters (to balance us not having Gil and Haywood) and one of their knuckleheads (to balance out not having Blatche) at least until the 4th quarter. That might keep things more interesting while we investigate possible draft picks for next year.

Posted by: wizfan007 | January 27, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Given where the Caps have come from just a few years ago, there good ratings are amazing to me. This is known as a b-ball town and, notwithstanding that the Wiz blow, hockey outrating b-ball (and baseball, for that matter, is pretty amazing. And what is interesting is that this Caps team is still young. If they can really stay highly competitive for many years and, from my fingers to God's ears, win a Cup, no telling where the ratings can go. But make no mistake, 99% of it is Ovechkin. Both on and off the ice, that guy is a Godsend to DC sports fans.

Posted by: poguesmahone | January 28, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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