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Wiz TV ratings up 93 percent

Curious what a healthy Gilbert Arenas does for local interest in the Wizards? The early indications are it helps. A lot.

The crowd at Wednesday night's Heat game was definitely on the late-arriving, small and quiet side, which had me once again cursing about D.C. sports. But the early-season TV ratings have been boffo. Through the first four games, the team's Comcast SportsNet broadcasts were averaging a 2.5 household rating in the D.C. market, which translates to about 57,383 households. That's a 93 percent increase over the ratings through four games a year ago. Maybe it's because of Brendan Haywood's return.

Now sure, three of these games have been on the road, which might help the TV numbers. (Only two of the first four were on the road a year ago.) And sure, there was the marquee meeting with LeBron, Shaq and the hated Cavs, which has easily been the most-viewed game.

But still, each of the first four games this season have drawn at least a 1.6 household rating; none of the first four games a year ago rated that high. At the season's midway point last year, the Wiz were averaging just a 0.94 on CSN and CSN+, which seems likely to be crushed this time around.

And for a truly remarkable number, the Wizards-Cavs game attracted a 3.53 household rating in D.C. (or about 82,427 households.) That's for an early-November regular season basketball game starring a team coming off a 19-win season. For comparison's sake, last year's Game 1 playoff meeting between the Caps and Rangers drew a 3.3. on CSN. The Game 6 Caps-Penguins contest in the Eastern Conference semis earned a 5.3, which was the highest number for any Comcast SportsNet Caps broadcast on the season.

The Caps averaged a 1.1 last season, which was the highest Caps average in Comcast SportsNet's history. I don't know how they're doing this year, but it would appear that their ratings will be easily surpassed by these new-look Wizards.

And in case you've forgotten, the Nats on MASN and MASN2 this season averaged a 0.60 household rating, good for about 14,000 households.

And if you want to know why I'm writing incessantly about the Redskins, Jim Williams of The Examiner reports that the Monday Night Football meeting with Philly drew a combined 27.9 local rating on ESPN and WDCA.

And as always, I should note that The Post has a business relationship with Comcast SportsNet.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 5, 2009; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
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One caution if you do find Caps ratings on CSN for this year and want to compare--three of the marquee games so far this year (opening night in Boston and both Flyers games) were exclusively on Versus, so CNS ratings may not be a complete picture of Caps TV interest.

Posted by: TheFingerman | November 5, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Having said that, those ratings for the Wizards are surprisingly impressive.

Posted by: TheFingerman | November 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It won't last. There is a curiousity factor now. But the team isn't that good and Arenas is the Wizards Jaromir Jagr; impressive at times but not a guy who can take you all the way.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 5, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards will be fine this season. I think crowds will pick up if Abe keeps up his ticket specials. I sat in decent mid-court, 400 level seats last night for $20 (thanks to the Wizards pre-season half price web special). That's good value to see two fantastic NBA players go head to head.

Flip will find the right rotations for this new look and still hurting squad.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 5, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse


They have a good shot at contending for home court in the playoffs, I'd say that's a pretty good team, especially by D.C. sports standards.

Posted by: OffseasonChamps | November 5, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

OffseasonChamps: I don't accept your premise. I think they will make the playoffs but with a sixth or seventh seed.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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