If the Nationals Lose And No One's Listening, Does It Really Happen?

The Nationals are bad. The 46-85 record gives that away. They're also poorly run, as evidenced by the Jim Bowden scandal and their inability to sign their first round pick. The biggest worry for the Nationals right now has to be that their problems go even deeper than that. Recently Arbitron released their latest ratings for baseball radio broadcasts and the Nats' numbers were so low that they didn't even properly register on the charts. From the Washington Post:

The team's broadcasts on the station formerly known as WWWT (107.7 FM and 1500 AM) attracted a cumulative weekly audience of about 26,500 from May through July, the most recent period measured by Arbitron. [...]

It could be worse -- and probably is.

Arbitron's figures are estimates based on a sample of listeners; as the share of these listeners falls to smaller and smaller fractions, the reliability of the estimates declines as well. Farley concedes that the actual radio audience for the Nationals is "probably lower" than the average reported by Arbitron.

For comparison, the article gives the Mariners numbers at about 133,000 a week, or five times the ratings of the Nats. Meanwhile, the Nationals are 13th out of 16 teams in National League attendance and are averaging less than 30,000 fans a game, despite opening their new park this year. Even the Pirates topped 30,000 a game when PNC Park opened in 2001. Can anyone remember how moving to Washington was supposed to save this franchise from obscurity?

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