As team, Chs. 45, 5 give Redskins solid ratings

ON THE AIR

September 29, 1994|By MILTON KENT

Maybe there aren't as many Washington Redskins haters out there as we thought.

Redskins ratings in Baltimore have been less than exemplary this season, as their games, which dominated last year in head-to-head competition, have been beaten consistently.

Last weekend's ratings, furnished by this week's official supplier, WBAL's Sharon Walz, yielded yet another loss, the third in four weeks, as the Redskins-Atlanta Falcons game on Channel 45 at 1 p.m. drew a 6.6 rating and a 15 share, trailing the Miami-Minnesota contest on Channel 2, which attracted a 10.2/23.

But the Redskins could be doing much better in Baltimore than we may think, because of our proximity to the nation's capital. Channel 5, the Fox affiliate in Washington, also carried the Redskins game Sunday and its coverage did a 4.5/10 in the Baltimore area.

That means the Redskins game attracted an overall 11.1 rating, which would have beaten the Miami game and fallen just behind the 11.8/24 numbers piled up by the San Diego Chargers-Los Angeles Raiders contest on Channel 2 at 4 p.m. with no competition.

The reason for the Redskins' slump on Channel 45 has little to do with any hatred of the station or team, but rather the fact that its UHF signal is weaker than Channel 5's VHF beam.

That likely makes the Washington station more attractive to residents of Anne Arundel and Howard counties, both parts of the Baltimore metropolitan area, but loaded with people who work in and identify with our neighbors to the south.

"There's really not much you can do. That's a fact we've been aware of for some time," said Steve Marks, Channel 45's general manager, who stressed that his station does dominate in the city as well as Baltimore and Harford counties.

As for solutions, Marks said he has considered asking Fox and the league for permission to run other games when the Redskins are at home, but many of their remaining home contests (Dallas this Sunday, the New York Giants, Philadelphia) are too attractive to pass up.

ACC doubleheader

In a late development, Channel 13 has picked up the Maryland-Clemson game at noon on Saturday, to be followed by the Georgia Tech-North Carolina State contest at 3:30. Last Saturday's Terps-Wake Forest game did a 4.4/15, which trailed the Miami-Washington clash (6.1/16), also on 13, but beat the Notre Dame-Purdue game on Channel 2 (2.5/7).

Poor taste

Yesterday's overnight ESPN "SportsCenter," which is repeated throughout the morning, started as always with a billboard of stories to come, under a theme on a variation of the old "Pyramid" game show.

The voices of anchors Craig Kilborn and Karl Ravech were heard firing clues at each other like, "Marcia, sit down," to a response of "Things Greg Brady might say," while footage of Los Angeles County prosecutor Marcia Clark and attorney Robert Shapiro, who is representing O. J. Simpson in his double murder trial, rolled over the voices and the "SportsCenter" theme.

Finally, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito is seen, clearly looking displeased, as the answer -- "What Judge Ito Might Say" -- is revealed.

Apparently our friends at ESPN have forgotten that the Simpson trial covers the most serious offense that a person can be charged with, murder, which, at last check, is not funny.

The lives of two people, one of whom was the mother of two small children, were snuffed out in this tragedy and their families deserve far better treatment than that.

The insensitive lunkhead(s) who was responsible for yesterday's hijinks ought to be looking for a new line of work.

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