My contact at The Nielsen Company just broke the sad truth to me: Despite doggedly competing for first place in 2009, the Angels’ television ratings are in the toilet this season compared to last year, and especially compared to the Dodgers.
The Angels local broadcasts (FSN-West and My13) are averaging a 1.2 rating in 2009, down from 1.4 at this time last year. Their share of the viewing audience has collapsed to 2% from 3%. An average of 75,000 households watched Angels baseball on television last season. Our telecasts have seemingly scared away 9,000 households as only 66,000 are tuning in this year. Again, these are the numbers provided to me directly from The Nielsen Company.
Meanwhile, our competition for local eyeballs up the freeway has exploded. The Dodgers were within shouting distance last season with a 1.9 rating and a 4 share, averaging 111,000 households. But they have left us in the dust in 2009 with a 2.2 rating and 125,000 households. That is 59,000 more households watching them than watching us when our teams appear on local television broadcasts.
In their All Star Game wrap-up, The Nielsen Company thought enough of these Dodger numbers to make a bullet point noting Vin Scully's asskicking of our beloved Grand Phyzzard. Note also that the Rangers have seen their television ratings rise up 50%.
At some point the performance of the team on the field, their "history" (or lack thereof) and their location will be exhausted as excuses and rationalizations and the blame for these numbers can be assigned to the terrible quality of the broadcast, the stiff uninspired camerawork and the obtuse banter of a certain tin-ear announcer. Of course, with these lousy ratings, one can assume scrimping will be the key as we are only into the fourth season of a ten year deal as reported here on Halos Heaven in February of 2006.
I asked my contact at Nielsen to explain the terminology here is his breakdown: EXAMPLE: Say there are 100 TV households in a market. During the hours of 4pm and 7pm, 50 households are watching something on TV. Of those 50 households, 5 are watching the Angels game. So the overall household rating would be 5/100 = .05 or 5% or 5.0 rating. The share would be 5/50 =.10 or 10% or 10 share.
Oh well... maybe it is better, in the words of John Milton, to reign in hell than to serve in heaven...