Nationals' TV Ratings See Steady Increase As MASN Carriage Dispute Deadline Nears
Ratings for Nationals games have posted a 53% increase so far this year on MASN, MASN2 and WDCW, a local over-the-air channel in DC. Sources say Nationals games have earned a 2.22 rating so far this season, up from the 1.45 they posted at the same point last season. The ratings increase comes as MASN and the Nationals approach the deadline to settle their rights fee dispute. By the beginning of July, an ad hoc committee of owners from the Mets, Pirates and Rays is set to make a decision on how much MASN should pay the Nationals. MASN says the Nationals should receive $35M a year, marking a 20% increase. The Nationals are pushing for $120M annually, on par with teams in similar-sized markets. MASN's other team, the Orioles, has posted a 4.55 rating on MASN, MASN2 and WJZ-CBS. That rating is up 3% from last year's 4.43 (Ourand & Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). In DC, Dan Steinberg noted the Nationals "also had games broadcast nationally on ESPN, and regionally on Fox." Fox Sports Senior VP/Communications Lou D'Ermilio "recently tweeted that Saturday night's Orioles-Nats game earned a 3.9 rating in this market, which is the highest ever for a regular season Fox baseball broadcast in Washington" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/26).