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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
According to an in-depth baseball ratings story and chart by John Ourand, posted on Sports Business Journal today (subscription required), the Nats are drawing a 0.39 on MASN/MASN 2, down 43.5 percent from last year.

The average number of D.C.-market households tuning in is 9,000, which is...checking, checking....last in the majors. By a lot. That 0.39 rating is...checking, checking....also last in the majors. Also by a lot.

The biggest average households numbers, according to the story (which is based on Nielsen Media Research numbers) watch the Yankees (325,000), Red Sox (233,000) and Mets (204,000). The highest average ratings, according to the story, are found in Boston (9.75), St. Louis (8.04) and Minnesota (6.92).

More to the point, the lowest average household numbers, aside from the Nats, watch the Royals (28,000), Orioles (33,000) and Pirates (34,000). To repeat, the Nationals' number was 9,000, less than a third of the viewership in next-to-last Kansas City. The lowest average ratings, aside from the Nats, are found watching the Angels (1.24), Rangers (1.49) and Dodgers (1.57). To repeat, the Nationals' number was 0.39.
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/07/nats_last_in_the_league_last_i.html
 

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Wow.. 9,000 viewers is pretty bad.
 

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And I thoght NHL ratings were bad.
 

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Esentually, in TV terms, the Nationals are an expansion team moving into an established market, and thus in competition with the established Orioles. That is only replicated in the long distant past, by the Mets (who can be considered a reestablishment of the Dodgers and Giants in many ways), Angels (who were owned by the TV station) and A's moving in on the established Yankees, Dodgers and Giants. This is uncharted waters.

The Nationals, seem to want to be "Washington's team". In a market where 90% (and 99% of the kind of people you want) of the population lives in the suburbs. You esentually have a downtown DC team and the region's team, the Orioles. Especially in the Maryland suburbs.

Washington's working population is still made up of people that moved there there to work for the government, and who thus maintain loyalties to "their" childhood teams. This is especially true of the Virginia suburbs, which is Washington's natural market.

The team has done NOTHING to market itself to any of the, quite large, subsidary markets such as Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, etc.
 

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SamC said:
Esentually, in TV terms, the Nationals are an expansion team moving into an established market, and thus in competition with the established Orioles. That is only replicated in the long distant past, by the Mets (who can be considered a reestablishment of the Dodgers and Giants in many ways), Angels (who were owned by the TV station) and A's moving in on the established Yankees, Dodgers and Giants. This is uncharted waters.

The Nationals, seem to want to be "Washington's team". In a market where 90% (and 99% of the kind of people you want) of the population lives in the suburbs. You esentually have a downtown DC team and the region's team, the Orioles. Especially in the Maryland suburbs.

Washington's working population is still made up of people that moved there there to work for the government, and who thus maintain loyalties to "their" childhood teams. This is especially true of the Virginia suburbs, which is Washington's natural market.

The team has done NOTHING to market itself to any of the, quite large, subsidary markets such as Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, etc.
SamC: Quite true, but by the same token, the Nats have been really hamstrung by MLB and Peter Angelos with the MASN deal. It's not as big of an issue on D*, but on the cable systems around here, when MASN airs a Nats game, it's on any number of given channel numbers, so people don't know where to find the games. This in no way excuses the poor performance of the team (I just got back from watching another loss), but it helps to explain why there's poor TV viewership. It's nothing like my childhood when I always knew that the Yankees were on Channel 11 and the Mets were on Channel 9, all the time.
 

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Rob-NovA said:
SamC: Quite true, but by the same token, the Nats have been really hamstrung by MLB and Peter Angelos with the MASN deal. It's not as big of an issue on D*, but on the cable systems around here, when MASN airs a Nats game, it's on any number of given channel numbers, so people don't know where to find the games. This in no way excuses the poor performance of the team (I just got back from watching another loss), but it helps to explain why there's poor TV viewership. It's nothing like my childhood when I always knew that the Yankees were on Channel 11 and the Mets were on Channel 9, all the time.
Well, yeah, different cable systems don't always have channels on the same numbers. It always gets me when I read someone say, "I don't know where that channel is."

People who watch their tv should know what channels they have on cable. And there are tv listings in newspapers and the internet that tell what are on the channels each day. Anyone who wants to watch a Nationals game can look at those tv listings and know when the game starts.
 

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Randal Graves said:
Well, yeah, different cable systems don't always have channels on the same numbers. It always gets me when I read someone say, "I don't know where that channel is."

People who watch their tv should know what channels they have on cable. And there are tv listings in newspapers and the internet that tell what are on the channels each day. Anyone who wants to watch a Nationals game can look at those tv listings and know when the game starts.
I'm talking about different channel numbers on the SAME cable system, unfortunately. And it's not just a local OTA station versus a cable only station. MASN will appear on different channel numbers on different days. It's frustrating to find the game, even if one were to look up the guide.
 

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All true. To review the mis-management lesson #4582 of Bud "Light" (Kenesaw Molehill) Selig, every expanison team or franchise relocation, including the St. Louis Brown's own move to Baltimore) were 100% without any payment to the nearby teams. Angelos, baseball's worst owner and a certified crook who presented faked evidence in federal courts to become wealthy at the expense of his clients, the average of which got less than $4000, demanded that baseball give him control of the Nats' TV rights for 30 years. Selig bent over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday that Major League Baseball is checking into the accuracy of published Nielsen ratings in which television viewership for Washington Nationals games ranked a distant 30th out of 30 MLB teams.

"The ratings were so . . . abysmal, we're having our people look into it, and it's ongoing," Selig said during his annual lunch meeting with members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

However, Selig said the overall health of the Nationals' franchise is fine. "They're doing well at the gate and I think [their rebuilding plan is] on schedule. I know they'd like to win more games, but they have a plan."

Last week, the SportsBusiness Journal reported the Nationals were drawing an average area rating of 0.39, roughly one-third that of the next-worst team, with an average of only 9,000 households in the Washington area.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071503046_pf.html
 

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Put a winning team on the field and more and more fans will either tune in or show up. Until then nothing is going to change! I'm a big National fan. I've been to about six games this year even though I live in the Baltimore area. But the new owners don't want to spend a dime on the team.

Now they are not even paying the rent on the new ballpark that the city built for them with tax payers money. If the owners don't care pretty soon either will the fans!
 

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As a long-time Expos fan there ARE some caveats to the previous post.

The Nats have been decimated by injuries. I was reading a story that said this year's Nationals have lost as many man-days to injuries as ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE LAST 20 YEARS.

And, as far as the rent goes, there's supposedly a dispute about whether or not certain things about the stadium were completed when they were supposed to be completed so the rent is kind of being held up as 'ransom'. I don't know the details.
 

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Considering the big celebration that has been going on because MASN2 is NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY! I'm not at all surprised that the ratings are supposedly down in the dumps.

The Nats have been relegated to MASN2 much more frequently this season and many people still didn't get that channel (see PG County as a reference) and even those that were getting it had no clue where it was.

My mother is a died in the wool O's fan and had no clue where to find the O's games last year once Comcast in her area (southern Maryland) had added the station. When the broadcasts were on MASN2 she was equally lost. I found both channel numbers for her but being a typical senior and having senior moments and senior's memory she really didn't take note and probably continues to wonder where the games are.

Even if you do get MASN or MASN2 you get one of the crappiest SD broadcasts available anywhere. I'd much rather just go see the games in person and pay for the parking for Metro (something I really hate doing if at all possible). :mad:

Seriously, I'm a half-season ticket holder, splitting with a few others, and quite honestly I'd much prefer to sit at home and watch in HD where possible, except for my preference for Sunday afternoon games to share time with my son and a few particular visiting teams that friends like. I keep and use about 10 games (over the course of the season) worth of tix. I'd rather that be down in the 5 - 6 games range, and may wind up getting better seats for fewer games next season. I'd probably have done that this season if not for the lack of HD broadcasts :mad:

Meanwhile, give the team time to get better. They have had holes in their line-up since they got to town. Over-achieved in year 1, traded for a star for season 2 but then didn't keep him because of budget constraints, and since that time they've really not had that much talent on their roster. They've suffered with limited TV exposure because of the "Mr. Angelos Screws the Nationals fans" TV network, and haven't had a big budget to waste on free agents. Even if they wanted to waste the money the choice of free agents that have been available have not been that impressive (would they have had any better luck with Andruw Jones? doubtful) and you can't really fault them for not tieing up too much of their budget on keeping Soriano -- who also has proven to be fragile.

I wish the Lerners weren't being jerks in dealing with the District, and wish that the team hadn't been screwed by Selig/Angelos in the TV deal, but they'll do ok. Even with the low ratings they are selling tickets and making money. If they aren't drawing TV viewers then it is hurting Angelos who has no one to blame but himself. While they need to gain viewers, given time they will, especially if the O's continue to stink up the joint too.
 
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