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Caps TV ratings pull well ahead of Wizards

When Sports Business Journal conducted its midseason look at the regional NHL and NBA ratings, I pointed out how similar the Wizards and Caps numbers were. Back then, according to SBJ, the Caps were averaging a 1.5 rating on CSN and CSN+, while the Wizards were averaging a 1.44.

This week, SJB published its just about final regular season ratings, and the gap has grown. Through April 9, the Caps were averaging a Caps 1.6 rating, good for 37,000 homes and a 46 percent increase over the year before. The Wizards, meantime, were averaging a 1.18, good for 28,000 homes and a 37 percent increase over the year before.

It's close enough that you figure the Wizards would still pull ahead if they were competitive, but it's far enough apart that you can't really argue about what D.C.'s second-most popular team is right now. (Thanks to SBJ's John Ourand for the numbers.)

There have been a slew of Caps TV and Internet numbers that came out in recent days; here are some more.

Top 10 market

The Caps fared pretty well against the rest of the U.S. based markets in the SBJ survey, finishing ninth of 22 in both the average rating and the average number of households.

It's especially impressive considering their division; the Thrashers and Panthers were the bottom two rated teams, with a combined average of 12,000 households, so the Caps weren't feasting off a lot of marquee regular-season matchups.

Playoff demographic

All three playoff games have been the top-rated shows in their time-slot among the target demographics in the D.C. market (adults 18-49, adults 25-54, men 18-49, men 25-54). The total rating has also been strong, if not record-breaking: Comcast SportsNet got a 5.1 in the D.C. market for Game 1, a 4.4 for Game 2, and a 5.1 for Game 3.

NHL.com use

The number of unique visitors to NHL.com from the D.C. market during the first week of the playoffs was up 21 percent over last year's figure.

Of non-NHL cities, three of the biggest increases in that category come from Maryland/Virginia: Baltimore ranked second in the percentage increase (up 54 percent), Richmond was fifth (up 32 percent) and Norfolk was ninth (up 21 percent).

Versus audience

Excluding the local markets, the Caps-Habs game did the highest national number of the four Versus broadcasts over the weekend.

Puck the Media sees this as a preference for Ovechkin over Crosby, but the numbers -- 549,000 households nationally for the Caps -- are really too low to be happy about. As SB Nation's Mike Prada noted, the 11 pm NBA playoff games on Saturday night both drew more than four times as many national households than Game 2 of Caps-Habs on Versus.

Attendance up

Via SB Nation, the Caps were also one of just five of these teams to see attendance increase in 2009-2010. Average attendance was up 1.0 percent to 18,277, seventh among those U.S. franchises. Since they're now at capacity, it'll be tough to see any increase in the future.

As always, I should note that The Post has a business relationships with CSN, even though they're hiring all the former Washington Times beat writers and trying to steal our Web traffic.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 20, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media , Wizards  
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Comments

"Average attendance was up 1.0 percent to 18,277, seventh among those U.S. franchises. Since they're now at capacity, it'll be tough to see any increase in the future."

Perhaps Mr. Leonsis could plan an ill-advised stadium expansion, sacrificing some of the gameday experience in order to squeeze in a few thousand more patrons and their dollars . There's another sports team owner in DC who could offer plenty of advice on that front.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | April 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Careful what you wish for Nate...the Caps added 100 or so standing room only seats for some playoff games.
Granted, I don't see Ted Leonsis going down the slippery slope of Snyderizing the Caps.

Posted by: 4-12 | April 20, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Bigger problem would be that there's no way to expand the VCenter at all without closing off more streets. I, for one, think a little expansion wouldn't be horrible because the building really needs larger walkways and more bathrooms.

Posted by: EricS2 | April 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Wizards should have found the same steroids suppliers the Caps use. Of course with all those guns around you don't want to have roid rage.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 20, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Granted, there were a lot of reruns in prime-time on both Thursday and Monday, but being the top-rated show in its time-slot among all 18-49 and 25-54 viewers is very impressive. Can they make it four in a row Wednesday against American Idol?

Posted by: TheFingerman | April 20, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Wizards should have found the same steroids suppliers the Caps use. Of course with all those guns around you don't want to have roid rage.

Posted by: PowerBoater69

You trying to make an accusation there booby

Posted by: CBinDC | April 20, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

PB69 is simply a troll.

Posted by: alecw81 | April 20, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Wizards should have found the same steroids suppliers the Caps use. Of course with all those guns around you don't want to have roid rage.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 20, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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

What, no DC United insults? You're off your game, good sir.

Posted by: M__N | April 21, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Just to let you know, I went to Game 2 and watched from the Standing Room Only section, and I would buy those seats EVERY SINGLE TIME over a buying a similarly-priced ticket in the 400s. The view was amazing, the atmosphere was amazing, and not having to worry about people going to the bathroom and getting in your way was totally worth that price of admission. I am constantly standing at home watching the game, so for me it was really no different.

Posted by: miguelmora76 | April 21, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Miguel. The Red Wings sell SRO to all games, not just playoffs. Those are better than the upper level seats. Better views for sure. As long as your not 60+, you should be fine. This is the freaking playoffs we're talking about here.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | April 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Not surprised with the national ratings. Lots of people still don't realize that Versus exists, and those who tune into the network are true hockey fans. Casual fans can't find Versus in their channel lineup. The NHL needs to come back to ESPN. The time is now.

Posted by: thinicer | April 21, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

ESPN lost a boatload on the NHL after the lockout, and since they control the sporting television world, I wouldn't expect them to jump in any time soon. Not as long as they've got NASCAR (turn left!).

Posted by: bflorhodes | April 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Okay, could they take the roof off the booth and add a few extra seats that way, go up 2 more stories? I have not looked closely at whats above the stadium in a while but I would think you could possibly do that and get another few hundred seats.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I mean Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming....

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | April 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Canadians !

Posted by: stephenwhelton | April 21, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Wizards should have found the same steroids suppliers the Caps use. Of course with all those guns around you don't want to have roid rage.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 20, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Can't help being an idiot can you PB69. What happened, did you get sick and tired of everyone trashing you on the Soccer Insider blog?

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 21, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"an ill-advised stadium expansion, sacrificing some of the gameday experience in order to squeeze in a few thousand more patrons and their dollars."

Interestingly enough, some would describe that as the jump from the Cap Centre to the Phonebooth...

Posted by: sitruc | April 22, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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