Nats TV ratings way up for opening day
Since there has been plenty of criticism directed at the Nats for the opening day experience, here's one bit of good news. Ratings for the season opener more than tripled from a year ago, from a 0.5 household rating in 2009 to a 1.6 in 2010. You'll recall that the season average last year was a 0.6, so again, this is a huge step up, and good news. Yay.
If you want the caveats....
* Last year's season opener was on MASN2. This year's was on MASN and WDCW.
* Last year's season opener was against a non-premium opponent, the Marlins. This year's was against a popular regional rival, the Phillies.
Also, as long as I'm here again, check out Bud Selig's full remarks from Monday when he was asked about the Phillies cheers in the crowd. Thanks to Zach Berman for the quotes.
"You know what it reminds me of?" Selig began. "This is interesting, which is why I believe in what I call inter-urban rivalries. I really do. It reminds me of the Cardinal-Cub games, the Milwaukee-Cub games, Milwaukee-Cardinal games. There are certain games that produce a lot of crowds....
"When I was standing with the President before the game, I heard all this cheering. I said to Ted Lerner, 'What are they chanting?' And he didn't know. Fortunately, he didn't know because they were chanting, 'Let's go Phillies!' But I think it's great. Great for the sport, I really do. Enormous interest, obviously, in Philadelphia, and the fact that people travel as much as they do.
"You see it all over town. Talking before about how popular the sport was...and the intensity, I've never seen intensity like this. I don't know if a third of this crowd goes for Philly. It's hard to tell. I'll let the rest of you make that judgment. Bus up, trip up from Philadelphia, it's only a testament to this game's popularity."
(Obviously you've now read Adam Kilgore's story on the invasion; if you haven't, you must. At least one Nats ticket seller proactively reached out to at least one Philly group, resulting in more than 500 tickets going up north before individual seats went on sale for Opening Day. This story isn't going away. Someone's going to have to apologize.)
And in one more Nats note, at least some season-ticket holders got an e-mail from the team asking them to provide feedback on their Nats Park experience. Problem is, as Nationals Enquirer pointed out, you weren't allowed to choose "2010" as the date of your visit. So maybe we can just pretend that the home season begins on Wednesday.
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