SBD/August 25, 2011/Media

NFL Coverage Near DC Complicated As Ravens Push Into Redskins Territory

Redskins ratings in DC market historically have dominated Ravens numbers

With the start of the NFL regular season, coverage of the Redskins and Ravens becomes "complicated, and fans in the two adjacent television markets don’t always get to choose which team they’re seeing," according to Dan Steinberg of the WASHINGTON POST. Both teams on Sept. 18 play games at 1:00pm ET, and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic viewers "in the Montgomery and Prince George’s County suburbs will get a 90-minute Redskins postgame show." However, viewers in neighboring Howard and Anne Arundel Counties near FedExField "will instead get a 90-minute Ravens postgame show." The Redskins' "traditional dominance" in counties near DC "hasn’t stopped the Ravens from expanding their television reach this year." A preseason deal with DC's WJLA-ABC and a "growing programming arrangement with CSN will bring more Ravens content to more Washington-area viewers, and, the Ravens hope, continue to enlarge their fan base." Ravens President Dick Cass: "What we’re really trying to do is fight for young fans, and fight for new people moving into the (Baltimore-Washington) area. The Redskins have been here forever; right now their brand is stronger than our brand. They have a larger fan base than we do. We’re just fighting to grow our fan base." Steinberg notes to date, the Redskins' "dominance in the Washington market is unchallenged." When the two teams’ preseason broadcasts "went head-to-head last Friday, the Redskins earned a 13.4 rating" in the DC market while the Ravens earned a 1.4, "about the same rating the Redskins achieved in the Baltimore market." Still, Ravens officials "are confident that their efforts to reach fans in Washington are worthwhile." The team's preseason debut against the Eagles this month attracted 170,000 HHs in the DC market, "far bigger than the audiences for most Capitals or Nationals game" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/25).

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