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Orioles TV Ratings Up 39 Percent

By Dave Hughes,

The early TV numbers are quite positive for the Baltimore Orioles, with ratings up 39 percent when compared with the first two weeks of last season.

That's good for seventh among the most-improved ratings via MASN, the network that broadcasts the Orioles' and the Washington Nationals' games. The Nationals are seeing a 113 percent TV ratings hike, according to statistics Major League Baseball released.

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Tony Burke, Comcast SportsNet's news director for the past three years, and assistant news director for two years before that, has announced that he will leave the Bethesda-based sports network in mid-May to pursue other career opportunities.

He will begin transferring day-to-day responsibilities beginning this week as he transitions out of the position. Frank Crisafulli will serve as interim news director, we're told.

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The Baltimore radio ratings for the month of March, courtesy of Columbia, Md.'s, Arbitron, show sports talker WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan, slumping a bit to 18th place. But, still, it was the top-rated fulltime sports talker in the market.

News talker WBAL, 1090 AM, which now carries the Orioles, placed fifth. It will be interesting to see how its ratings trend for April, with the team's play-by-play back on the station.

ESPN 1300, WJZ-AM, placed 34th in the age 12+, full-week numbers, with Washington, D.C.’s WTEM, ESPN 980 in 35th. AM sports talkers WNST, 1570, and WVIE, Fox Sports 1370, didn't make the March rankings in the demo.

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The Washington Capitals finished 57 percent ahead of the Washington Wizards, according to seasonal stats for regional sports networks. Both teams are on Comcast SportsNet.

According to Sports Business Journal, the Caps finished their regular season with a 1.8 average rating, up 12 percent from 2009-2010. The Wizards finished with a 1.15 rating, down 3 percent year-to-year.

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There were record ratings for Comcast SportsNet's coverage of Game 1 of the Capitals-Rangers 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals April 13.

The game posted a 6.18 household rating in the Washington TV market, making it the second-highest Capitals rating in network history, behind only Game 7 of last year's first-round series versus Montreal.

This year's Game 1 attracted 145,000 homes in the Washington market and another 34,000 in the Baltimore market. That's 21 percent higher than CSN's ratings for Caps playoff Game 1 of 2010.

Posted April 22, 2011