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Orioles' TV Ratings Up

By Dave Hughes,

The Orioles' TV ratings are up so far this season. For the first 26 games of the 2011 season, the Orioles saw a 24 percent rise, compared with the same period last year on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network -- with a 33 percent year-to-year elevation in men age 18-34, and 25 percent higher numbers among men age 25-54, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The Birds are also seeing a rise in their Washington, D.C., audience, which is more than twice as large as it was last year. The Orioles nabbed a 1.5 household rating or a 35,000-household game average in the Washington market through 26 games.

"The Orioles have a proven, loyal and knowledgeable fan base -- even in down years, we've been able to generate solid ratings," John McGuinness, MASN senior vice president, told the Sun.

The Nationals are also seeing a TV ratings elevation, with the team's numbers up 78 percent compared with last year, from a 0.9 to a 1.5 rating via MASN in the Washington market.

* * *

Orioles games on WBAL, AM 1090, are getting about the same ratings as sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan's evening sports talk, which is mainly football and the Ravens. That's according to Dave Labrozzi, who is VP of programming for CBS Radio Baltimore, which owns WJZ.

In the overall local radio numbers, of all listeners age 12 and older for the month, 105.7 was ranked 17th place for the month of April.

But representatives from the CBS station said it's doing quite well among male listeners, especially in its key demographic, even without Orioles play-by-play (the Orioles moved from WJZ to their old, longtime haunt of WBAL after last season).

Now, Labrozzi said in the demographic of men aged 25-54, WJZ and WBAL were tied for fourth place in evenings during April, according to the latest batch of Arbitron numbers.

Also, the April numbers show that WJZ's unofficial pre-game show, "Baltimore Baseball Tonight," landed in second place with men 25-54, compared with seventh place for WBAL's sports programming.

And, the Orioles' unofficial postgame show on the Orioles-less WJZ "crushed" WBAL, Labrozzi said. From 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., WJZ was tied for first place with men 25-54, while WBAL was tied for 23rd place.

* * *

ESPN 980, WTEM, jumped the gun and reported that Sean Miller would be named new basketball coach at the University of Maryland -- but the scoop turned out to be inaccurate.

Chuck Sapienza, the sports talker's top manager, posted an apology on the station's Facebook page: "Breaking news, while always a difficult animal to tame in the era of social media, is still as simple as getting the story 100 percent correct. You have my word we will improve our fact checking and sourcing. While mistakes do happen in our business, this will not be tolerated or taken lightly. I appreciate all of our listeners and take our credibility very seriously."

Posted May 20, 2011