Nationals strike out vs. Redskins in head-to-head TV matchup

WASHINGTON -- Even a little bit of winning can't get people interested in watching the Washington Nationals on television, especially if the Washington Redskins are on the other channel.

Only 6,000 households tuned in to the regional sports network MASN for Washington's game against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 4, according to the Sports Business Journal. The game had the dubious distinction of competing head-to-head with the Redskins' season opener against the New York Giants on NBC.

Still, the lack of interest marked another low point for a team that has been averaging a meager 8,000 households -- the fewest by far for any team in the majors -- for its local broadcasts.

Although in last place in the NL East, the Nationals entered the Sept. 4 game on a roll, having won eight of their previous nine games.

The Nationals had an even lower rating during the Olympics, when an Aug. 16 game against the Rockies aired while swimmer Michael Phelps was on NBC racing for a record eighth gold medal. The Journal reports that the baseball broadcast drew only 1,600 households on WDCA-TV, and that the last half hour of the game was below measurable ratings standards. That game came near the end of a 12-game Nationals losing streak.

Nationals president Stan Kasten had no comment on the ratings.