SBD/June 24, 2013/Media

MASN Seeing Big Gains For Orioles' Ratings, While Ad Inventory Shrinks

The Orioles' TV ratings on MASN have "spiked" since the team "started playing never-say-die comeback baseball" during the second half of last season, according to David Zurawik of the Baltimore SUN. The team this season ranks fifth in local ratings among MLB teams and has had an 86% jump in ratings since '11. Those numbers "represent not only interest from fans, but also good business news" for the team-owned MASN and its advertisers. MASN Senior VP & General Sales Manager John McGuinness said, "O’s viewership was always respectable. But you could really begin to see the groundswell of support building steadily last season, and it has just kept growing. I would not be surprised to see our audience grow another 10 to 15 percent from now until the end of this season." Orioles telecasts in Baltimore were "No. 1 during the pull-out-all-the-stops May sweeps period." Advertisers "like the team’s overall youth and the sense of optimism it generates," and they "love the nail-biting, comeback wins that keep viewers tuned in for nine innings of action -- and commercials." MASN "wouldn’t release booking data or commercial rates, but inventory appears to be tightening." Baltimore-based ad buying firm GKV Communications Partner Kevin Kempske "sees the improved ratings already translating into advertising dollars for MASN." Though TV ratings have "grown in all segments, they are most marked among younger viewers." Meanwhile, the Orioles' "fervor extends to more page views for sports media and rising ratings for WBAL Radio during its Orioles broadcasts" (Baltimore SUN, 6/23).

BIRD SIGHTINGS:'s Rich Dubroff noted Orioles 1B Chris Davis, SS J.J. Hardy, CF Adam Jones and RF Nick Markakis are all "leading their positions in All-Star Game voting." Orioles 3B Manny Machado and C Matt Wieters are "second at their positions." The "excellent results are due to the team’s outstanding performance over the last season-and-a-half and an effective marketing campaign by the team." The final voting and the reserves for the team will be announced on July 6 (, 6/23).
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