Redskins preseason games earn monster ratings
Since I've obsessively chronicled the television ratings of some of Washington's other local teams in recent years, it's only fair for me to note the press release the Redskins sent out Wednesday morning, touting record ratings through two preseason games. And the numbers are monstrous.
Now, it's sort of tough to compare NFL ratings with anything else. Even with the preseason, NFL teams play just 20 times a year, so there's a pent-up demand for the stuff, even in games that don't count. And unlike the Caps, Nats and Wizards, the Skins are just about always available on broadcast TV instead of (or in addition to) cable. The preseason games, in fact, have aired on three different stations at once.
But still. For meaningless games starring anonymous players shuffling in and out of the lineup to so completely trounce the ratings for all other local teams shows you why we cover the pinkie-finger injuries of third-string Redskins long snappers the way we do. Gotta give the people what they want.
Anyhow, according to the Skins, the two preseason games have averaged a 14.9 rating and a 30 share, meaning an average of about 349,000 households in the D.C. market have tuned in. The Bills game drew a 14.8 rating, according to the Redskins, and the Ravens game last Saturday night scored a 15.1 rating locally.
NBC 4's Dan Hellie broke down the numbers even more via Twitter, writing that for the Ravens game, NBC earned a 10.9 locally, Comcast SportsNet's HD broadcast got a 3.1 rating, and WDCW had a 1.1.
How does that compare to the other local teams? Stephen Strasburg's big-league debut was the most-watched Nats game in MASN or MASN2 history, and it got a 7.1, or less than half the audience for the Bills-Redskins preseason tussle. (I believe the second-most watched Nats game on MASN got a 5.4.)
The most-watched Caps game in CSN history was Game 7 against the Canadiens this year; that earned an 8.1 rating. It was the only Caps game in CSN history to record a rating above a 6.0.
I'm not sure what the most-watched Wizards game in CSN history is, but over the last two years, the Wiz have averaged 1.16 (09-10) and 0.79 (08-09) for their CSN/CSN+ games.
So anyhow, yeah. Redskins rule.
In other Skins television news, the Ravens are trying to massage the local system so more of their games are seen in the D.C. television market. From the Baltimore Sun:
The Ravens and Redskins have separate markets -- meaning that thousands of Ravens fans within an hour's drive of M&T Bank Stadium can't get all of the team's regular-season telecasts on "free" television because they are technically in Redskins territory.
Those Ravens fans are, in effect, stuck behind enemy lines. The Ravens say about 12 percent of their personal seat license holders have residences in the District of Columbia, northern Virginia, Montgomery or Prince Georges Counties -- the domain of the Redskins....
Under the current system, a team's principal market must televise every game except home contests that don't sell out. Teams also have secondary markets that generally show their away games and have the option to show their home games -- but sometimes don't. Washington is a Ravens secondary market, as Baltimore is for the Redskins. The Ravens would like Baltimore-Washington to be a single, unified TV market.
More Ravens-Browns games? Awesome!!!!! I'll be sure to watch.
August 25, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Categories: Caps , Media , Nats , Redskins , Wizards
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