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Caps loss smashes ratings record yet again

No, this isn't just a copy and paste job from earlier this week, or last week, or the week before. The Caps set yet another ratings record during their Wednesday night overtime loss to the Canadiens, and this one was by far the most impressive to date.

Yes, there was a massive snowstorm that had trapped and bored everyone in this region out of their minds. Still, the Caps game on Comcast SportsNet earned a 5.8 rating in D.C. That's considerably higher than the NBC number for Ovechkin-Crosby (5.3) on Super Bowl Sunday, which also came in the midst of a snowstorm, and which was on network television. For CSN to smash that is number just hard to fathom.

Wednesday's game--up against American Idol--was the most-watched program among men ages 25-54, and was second among all adults ages 25-54. Equally crazy, this mid-February regular-season game against Montreal did a better number than Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Penguins last spring. That game--also on CSN--earned a 5.5 in the D.C. market.

Snow aside, the team's record win streak seems to have catapulted interest to a level never before reached in this market. All five of the most-watched regular-season Caps games in CSN history came during the recent win streak. Before the streak, the network's highest regular-season mark was a 2.5 at the end of the 2008 season; Wednesday's game more than doubled that audience. The average Caps rating over the last 10 CSN games is a 2.8.

For the season, the Caps are now averaging a 1.5 on CSN and CSN+, up 41 percent from last year and 175 percent from two years ago.

As always, I'll note that The Washington Post and CSN have a business relationship, which occasionally allows me to sit on a set as Ivan Carter salivates over Minnesota athletes on a satellite link.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 11, 2010; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps on their Olympic hockey rooting interests
Next: Lindsay Czarniak rocks the red


Awesome! Lets Go Capitals!

Posted by: mjwies11 | February 11, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Those are some mighty impressive numbers there, Dan. Thanks for sharing. I've only been here a few years and I still understand the significance. The Caps are a force to be reckoned with.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | February 11, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Washington DC rules. Let's go Caps. Screw the Sens, screw the Canadiens. We still rule!

Posted by: CF11555 | February 11, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I expect that record to keep getting pushed higher and higher as the team gets even more popular.

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Posted by: Dlewis10 | February 11, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I will admit that as someone who had never watched a hockey game before, I watched both the Sunday and Wednesday games. Why? Partly because I was snowed in, partly because of the win streak. But now the streak is over and I'm not snowed in any more. Will I watch any more games? Maybe. Maybe not.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 12, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean that our beloved Caps will never again be banished to the ridiculously inferior CSN Plus?!

Posted by: capswench | February 12, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

capswench - I heard rumor of a second HD channel being installed for Comcast sports, hopefully it is true and coming in the near future....Dan or anyone else have solid facts regarding the second HD channel?

Posted by: donkey1 | February 12, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

THere's still hope in the world if men 25-54 prefer hockey over American Idol.

Posted by: IceNutz | February 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Ratings... the Winter Olympics... you've got to love the toboggan run and ice hockey but cross country skiing? It's like the Clown foot race. Funny feet and all. One of those that make you think: Hey I could get an Olympic medal... how much competition could their be? Curling would probably be more my speed. Over-sized shuffle board and me an Olympic athlete. They should add over-sized chess.

Posted by: chavez66 | February 14, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

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