TV ratings for Nats double in Washington
Strasburg's debut draws record number of viewers in area
The Nationals saw dramatic audience growth in the 2010 baseball season in Washington, as well as across MASN's seven-state television territory, according to year-over-year Nielsen television ratings.
The biggest ratings growth occurred in Washington, where the Nationals doubled their television audience, growing to a 1.4 rating -- or 33,000 households -- from a 0.7 rating in 2009.
The team continued to earn a solid 0.4 rating in Baltimore, which was unchanged from 2009. Across MASN's television territory (covering 14 designated market areas from Harrisburg, Pa., to Charlotte, N.C.) the number of households watching the Nationals nearly doubled, as an average of 57,000 homes tuned in on a nightly basis, compared with 31,500 per night in 2009.
The Nationals started the season strong, as the team scored the highest television ratings of its six-year history in Washington. Even before the arrival of right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals' television audience was soaring.
On May 10-11, a full month before Strasburg's debut, the Nats earned back-to-back 2.0 ratings in Washington, which set a new record for the Nationals on MASN, eclipsing the 1.8 rating record from Aug. 6, 2007, when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record against the Nationals.
Strasburg's debut was even more dramatic, as the game earned a 7.1 rating in Washington, where more than 165,000 homes tuned in to watch.
"Certainly the excitement around Stephen Strasburg helped draw attention to the Nationals this season," said MASN spokesman Todd Webster in a statement. "But considering that he started only 12 games between June 8 and Aug. 21, it's clear that excitement about the franchise is much broader and deeper than any one player."