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Orioles Still Get More D.C. Viewers Than Nats

I noted yesterday the recent Sports Business Journal report that had the Nats as the biggest percentage gainers in regional TV ratings, despite still having the smallest total television audience. Overall, I thought it was goodish news.

This, though, is definitely baddish. The excellent John Ourand from Sports Business Journal broke down the numbers further, and found that the Orioles are still receiving higher television ratings in the D.C. market than the Nats are. That's....that's just not good. From Ourand's report, which requires a subscription:

DC is the only TV market in the country where a team from another city gets better ratings than the hometown team. Orioles games on MASN drew a 0.67 rating and 16,000 homes in DC during the '09 season, a rating that is 12 percent higher and a household distribution that is 14 percent higher than the Nationals' 0.60 rating and 14,000 homes.

Ourand further notes that the combined audience of 30,000 homes still is less than every other household mark in the Majors save for the A's and Royals. I still think it's going to work here eventually, but being outdrawn by a putrid team from a completely different city shows that there's still quite a ways to go.

(And yes, I fully realize that there are tens of thousands of lifelong Orioles fans in this market, but still.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 13, 2009; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats , Orioles  
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Comments

Wieters hon! O's will win their division (which is always stacked), before the "putrid" Nats do.

Posted by: Yoder-lay-hee-who | October 13, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

That the first two seasons of the Nationals existence were not televised because the Orioles had the Nats TV rights should be included every time one of these stories. The Orioles and Peter Angelos acted in bad faith all the way down the line and were not held accountable by D.C. media. It is shameful.

Posted by: doubleuefwhy | October 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Would the Orioles still outdraw the Nationals on TV IF the games were on Comcast SportsNet? I highly doubt it. Comcast is seen as the DC station and MASN as the Baltimore station, mainly because of all the other shows on the network. How long will it be before MASN has the DC equivalent of the Anita Marks show (or whatever her name is)?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | October 13, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe real baseball fans listen to the games on the radio? (But please don't look at Arbitron, because with the lousy 1500 AM signal, radio fans have had to resort to MLB Audio online.)

Posted by: RightField | October 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

You need a subscription to view the Sports Business Journal article, so I can't check the methodology. But it's tough to do a side by side comparison of the Nats and O's just looking at the season totals.

For starters, the O's play a large number of games against the Red Sox and the Yankees. Are the numbers higher because people are tuning in to watch the opponent?

Second, MASN tends to air the games against higher profile opponents in HD, and lower profile games on MASN2 (this makes sense). By virtue of my first point, wouldn't that mean the O's played more games in HD, and couldn't that have boosted their ratings?

Finally, what was the overall split of games for Nats and O's between MASN and MASN2? What were the ratings like between the two channels?

I'm not trying to deny the O's continued popularity in DC, but that looks a bit funny to me.

Posted by: bryc3 | October 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Let us not forget that over 30 of the O's games every year are against the Red Sox and Yankees. Plenty of those bandwagon-hopping tools are in the DC area and tune in when the O's are facing one of them.

Steinz anyway to break the numbers down to prove that? I bet there is a 10% spike in viewership when the O's play either Sodom or Gomorrah versus the rest of the AL.

Posted by: jpfterps | October 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I blame Red Sox fans.

Then again, I blame Red Sox fans for every bad thing that's happened in the world since 2004.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 13, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Let us not forget that over 30 of the O's games every year are against the Red Sox and Yankees. Plenty of those bandwagon-hopping tools are in the DC area and tune in when the O's are facing one of them.

Steinz anyway to break the numbers down to prove that? I bet there is a 10% spike in viewership when the O's play either Sodom or Gomorrah versus the rest of the AL.

Posted by: jpfterps | October 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Dan, can we get just a game by game breakdown?

Posted by: alex35332 | October 13, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The D.C. market is also much more loosely defined than the Baltimore market, as it includes Frederick County (definitely Orioles country) rather than Baltimore which the city usually identifies it.

Particularly including Montgomery and P.G. County - and a better first couple of months to the season - not that surprising.

Posted by: Zilla05 | October 13, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So the last post on here says 32,00 total viewers for Orioles games.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/10/nats_tv_audience_is_mlbs_bigge.html

Does that mean in Baltimore they draw 32,000, or total? If its total, that means that Orioles viewers are split amongst DC and Baltimore 50/50. That surprises me more than than the Nats getting out-"viewed" by the Os in DC.

Posted by: colerwilson | October 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

How long will it be before MASN has the DC equivalent of the Anita Marks show (or whatever her name is)?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | October 13, 2009 2:07 PM

---------------------

A very long time, since there's no indication that MASN has any interest in programming their network in a way that would attract DC sports fans.

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 13, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Nats fan that is distressed by the TV ratings and finds MASN inadequate in some areas (their "rain delay" procedures make you think they don't actually want you to come back to watch the conclusion of the game.)

But let's at least be factually correct. MASN ran the same amount of Orioles and Nats game on the flagship MASN channel -- 95.
(Here's the link: http://masnsports.com/2009/02/masn-announces-nationals-and-o.html)

And while the Anita Marks show takes up a big block of time on MASN, they did used to run the John Riggins Show before that was cancelled. Finally, MASN does run a lot of local college basketball ove the winter--they run lots of Big East games, including some Georgetown games, and George Mason (and even an occasional AU game) as well. Yes, their baseball coverage does seem titled to the Orioles (they do seem to have a lot of Cal Ripken goes to China specials and other stuff that they don't do for the Nats), but they at least make some effort to attract D.C. area viewers.

I can't believe I just defended MASN. I think I'm going to go throw up.

Posted by: TheFingerman | October 13, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A very long time, since there's no indication that MASN has any interest in programming their network in a way that would attract DC sports fans.

Posted by: greggwiggins | October 13, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

________


What's wrong with that? The games are there to be watched by fans of either team if anybody is so inclined. Who cares what else is on around it. I'd bet that the folks at MASN would love to have rights to the Caps and/or Wizards if they could. I'm pretty sure that nobody in Baltimore watches Anita Marks or most of their other non baseball game programming either.

Posted by: dugly2ugly | October 13, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

keep the excuses coming nats fans.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 13, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

To all National fans,
Orioles fans have to listen to Jim Hunter. Detainees at Guantanamo would rather be waterboarded than have that fate. MASN is horrible.

Posted by: bal503 | October 13, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to singing "where were you when we were sh*t?" at Nats game when there are 40k at a September playoff chase game. But this isn't England, so most people won't know what Im singing about.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 13, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Nats fans have to stop whining about the O's playing the Yankees and Red Sox. What about the Nat's common opponents of the world champion Phillies, big-spending Mets, scrappy Marlins, or the Braves? That ain't too shabby IF you really are a baseball fan, instead of a talker. Throw in the Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, and Reds, while the O's get the Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners , Indians....you get it. Plus don't the Nats play the Yanks and Sox occasionally?

Nats fans just HAD to have a team. Well, now you got one, so tune it in and start diggin' into the pocket to buy some tix. It may take YEARS to have a contender...is that the ONLY time there will be support?

Posted by: Harold4 | October 13, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

another example - this market should have never had two teams, and now we are paying the price. In 5-10 years one team will be moving - let's hope its the Nats.

Posted by: jesstyr | October 14, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It is very surprising that this story has not created more excitement from Nats fans, trying to justify why they just HAD to a have a team. The number of comments is very low, especially from those who would try to explain away why this dog won't hunt. It ain't a baseball town....never was....never will be.

The new stadium helped clean up the area, but all the water taxis in the world won't fill the park. You got another 81 games to look forward to in 2010....good luck on creating any buzz whatsoever.

Posted by: Harold4 | October 14, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The Orioles are the REAL Team of D.C.

Lets not forget who used to be in the Washington Post....Orioles.

Let's not forget who was on ALL the News Channels during the sports segment in the D.C. area....Orioles.

I will forever be an O's Fan and I live in Montgomery Co. and work in D.C.

I proudly wear my O's Jacket every spring to work in D.C.

IF you want to be a SELLOUT like Steinburg...Root for the Nats.

GO O's!!!!!

Posted by: Watercoolerbsblogspotcom | October 14, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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