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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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