The Washington Times - January 22, 2009, 10:43AM

We’re working on a broad story about the Caps and the NHL at the break for next week, but I did not want to neglect the news from yesterday of the Capitals local television ratings, which set a team record for the highest-ever mark at the All-Star Break.

Local ratings on Comcast SportsNet averaged 1.2 through 41 games, representing an average of 27,600 households. That’s 123 percent higher than the midpoint of last year.


Seven games this season hit a record 1.7 rating, representing more than 39,000 households, while viewership for Caps PostGame Live rose 200%.

SportsBusiness Journal this week reported that the Caps had by far the highest TV ratings increase of any team in the NHL. The Caps now rank 10th in the NHL in local TV ratings among U.S.-based teams, SBJ said.

(One thing that struck me about the SBJ list was that the Sabres have a local TV rating in Buffalo of 8.87. That’s a remarkable number, given that most teams range from .5 to about 2.2.)

It is important to note one thing about the percentage increase for Caps ratings. Remember that this is a comparison to the first half of last season, when the team wasn’t performing particularly well. Caps ratings shot up in the second half of the season when the team got hot. So it’s possible that the increase in ratings will go down as the season goes on even if the ratings remain strong.