Wednesday, April 06, 2005

If You Broadcast It, They Will Come (Eventually)

Ratings for the first Nationals game in 73 years sucked. We couldn't even knock Judge Judy off her pedestal.
The Nationals posted a local TV rating of 1.7 and 5 share for their season-opening game Monday in Philadelphia against the Phillies, shown on WDCA-TV (Channel 20). The number translates to about 38,000 households, a sum representing a mere fraction of the audiences for local afternoon TV staples like "Oprah," "Judge Judy," and "General Hospital."

The number also was dwarfed by the Baltimore Orioles, who posted a 9.4 local rating and 22 share on WJZ-TV (Channel 13), translating to an audience of about 102,000 households, for its Monday season opener, played at the same time as Washington's.

How many casual fans knew that the game was even on? Us nutballs probably knew, but we’re far from typical! All the casual fan heard for months was that Angelos was holding up the broadcasting rights, assuming they even heard that much. It’s no wonder people weren’t out looking for it.

One of the advantages of the agreement with the King of Asbestos is that we get our money regardless of the results. And, at least for the first part of this year, the results won’t be good.

The only place that might have a bearing is on a particular station’s desire to give up it’s airtime. But, as the article notes, the Nats broadcast beat the hell out of what the station typically airs. I’m shocked. Absolutely shocked that more people aren’t watching Family Feud. What has become of this country?

Meanwhile, Tony Tavares is optimistic that they’ll have an agreement with local cable companies to air MASN (Is it Mason? Or Mass-en?) Sez Mr. Tony: "I don't know exactly what the solution's going to be," Nationals President Tony Tavares said by phone Tuesday. "People are scrambling around. They've just assured us they're doing everything in their power to get the games up. I anticipate some fairly quick announcements, but we'll see."

We love ya Tony and you’ve been through a lot to get us to this point and you deserve a world of thanks for that, but your credibility on these things is on a Jim Williams level.

I remember you saying that we’d have an owner by February. Then the beginning of the season. Then the All-Star break. We’ll see. I know you’re an optimistic sort, but don’t lead us on like that. We wanna watch our team damnit!

In the meantime, check out MLB.TV. They only black out the local market’s home games. You should be able to catch the Phillies broadcasts for tonight’s game, at least. (Or maybe they’ll even carry the phantom MASN signal?)


  • Actually, they black out all games for your home team, be they home or away.

    While they might make an exception while our TV is all screwed up, the cable channel that carries the Phillies won some court case saying they don't have to share with MLB. And they don't -- or, at least, they didn't last year.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 4/06/2005 11:23 AM  

  • The secret is to use an out of market address. I'm at law school in St. Louis, so I use that address and can watch all the Nats the solution might be to have a friend or relative in another market (or no market) sign up for you. I'm guessing the blackout restriction is linked to the billing address of the credit card, so have them spring for it and write them a check. POW! 162 Nats games live over the internet.

    By Blogger Derek, at 4/06/2005 6:17 PM  

  • speaking of which....I'm watching a game in Tampa Bay right now. Hideous stadium, terrible team, no one in the stands. Makes me feel so much better bout the expos @ RFK....

    By Blogger Derek, at 4/06/2005 6:19 PM  

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