Television ratings across baseball haven't been great this season, according to an article in Sports Business Journal, but nowhere are they worse than in Washington D.C. That's not surprising. The Nats are terrible, thanks to factors ranging from injuries to poor work by the front office, but the cold hard facts are still eye-opening.
The Nats have lost 43.5% of their viewers this season and rank last in baseball in viewership. Just 9,000 households in the D.C. market tune into games which results in a 0.39 ratings share, numbers which could easily be mistaken as people who leave their TVs on to keep their cats company. For comparison, the Royals are 28th in households (the Blue Jays weren't included) at 28,000 while the Angels draw a 1.24 share.
Is there really that little interest in the Nats? Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog has hosted a lively discussion about that question and the reaction seems mixed. The team's lack of talent gets mentioned a lot, as does the nature of Washington being a city full of people from other places because of government jobs.
There's a fair amount of complaint about MASN's coverage, especially the lack of HD coverage on every game, but Steinberg also mentions that Washington Post web traffic figures on the Nats could be deemed very disappointing. There's no doubt that it takes time to develop an avid fanbase and it appears that the Nats have a lot to work to do on that front.