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NFL draft beats Caps TV ratings

A friend e-mailed me the other day with this hypothetical: say the Redskins actually had a second-round pick in Friday night's draft coverage. Say it was two hours into the proceedings, going head-to-head with Comcast SportsNet's broadcast of Game 5 of the Caps-Canadiens series. Which event would get a better TV rating?

I know which would draw more Web clicks -- the Skins, and by a lot -- but I wasn't sure about the TV rating.

Thursday night was a different deal; the Redskins were picking fourth overall, the Caps weren't on TV, and the new primetime draft was going to suck in most local viewers with an NHL hankering. So, sure enough, ESPN drew a 6.1 rating in D.C. for its Thursday night coverage, well above the 5.3 that CSN got for Game 4 in D.C. on Wednesday night. The Caps series is averaging a 5.0 rating in D.C through four games. No CSN Caps playoff game has ever drawn above a 5.5.

Bearing in mind that the NFL draft was also on the NFL Network, I still think is mostly good for both sides. The Redskins (and general dominance of the NFL) drew a huge number for the draft, but it wasn't an audience that embarrassed the Caps' playoff crowd. Everybody wins.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 23, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , NFL , Redskins  
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"well above the 5.3 that CSN got for Game 4 in D.C. on Wednesday night."

That's a bit of a stretch, Dan. I'm shocked at how comparable these numbers are. There was a day when even asking this question would have drawn a laugh. Now what we're hearing is that the Caps are ALMOST as popular as the Skins. Woweeee. Times have changed.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | April 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Amazing what happens when a team is winning.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 23, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

We all know football, particularly the NFL is king, and gets better ratings by far than any other sport--but those numbers are pretty close, as MarylanDChris said. Be curious to see how the DC numbers compare to the numbers in big football/hockey cities, such as Pittsburgh and Philly, where their hockey teams were playing last night, or how Bruins ratings on Wednesday compare to NFL Draft ratings on Thursday in Boston.

Posted by: TheFingerman | April 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, huge numbers for hockey. Cool. The Redskins will always be king in D.C., but the Caps have how many consecutive home sellouts now? Like a million? :) Hopefully the Wizards will slowly improve with Leonsis at the helm now, too.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | April 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

How does the NHL draft compare to a Redskins game?

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

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