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'Skins-Bucs game earns highest preseason rating

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 30, 2002

Mike Rajewski's job just got much easier and probably much more lucrative.

The general sales manager at WTOG-Ch. 44 was one of many at the station smiling broadly when the ratings came in for Saturday's Bucs-Washington Redskins game and showed that WTOG had the best night in its history.

The 26.9 rating/41 share was the best Bucs' rating ever for a preseason game on Ch. 44, and Rajewski said the broadcast was higher rated than any other preseason telecast in the country last week.

Each rating point represents 15,682 local viewers; the share is the percentage of televisions in use tuned in to the broadcast.

"We did expect an increase because of the new coach(es)," Rajewski said. "I was estimating a 24 or 25. But whenever you overdeliver an estimate, well, we're excited about it."

High preseason ratings are nothing new for WTOG, but this year has exceeded expectations. Last year, WTOG averaged a 17.5 rating for its three games. In its first broadcast this year, though, it blew that average away, drawing a 22 as the Bucs beat Jacksonville.

"We've been averaged a 17.5 last year and we were thrilled with that," Rajewski said. "The ratings have been growing the last 3-4 years, but not these kinds of margins."

WTOG will wrap up its preseason coverage with tonight's game against Houston. It would take a much lower rating, albeit an unlikely scenario, to dim the success of this preseason.

"I'm looking forward to next year," Rajewski said. "Next year's advertising (rate) is based on this year's ratings, and obviously there's a lot of excitement about this team in the market."

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Today's lineup

  • King may get shot as backup QB
  • 'Skins-Bucs game earns highest preseason rating
  • Houston is a home game for McCardell

  • Rays
  • Angels win, but fans are show
  • Grieve starting to find power stroke

  • Other sports

  • MLB players poised to strike today
  • Whys and whats of a strike
  • Sites mobilize baseball fans, threaten walkout
  • Jays rock Clemens, Yanks
  • Cardinals get pitcher Wright for ailing staff
  • Cub makes switch-hit history
  • Game 1 in N.Y. belongs to L.A.

  • College football
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  • Secondary has some concerns

  • U.S. Open Tennis
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  • Rain ends, routs are on for top players

  • NFL
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  • Around the NFC
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  • Et cetera
  • Sports briefs

  • Sports/TV
  • 'Skins-Bucs game earns highest preseason rating

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  • Preps
  • Middleton set to play Wharton's JV squad
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  • One half can prove a whole lot
  • Wildcats, Knights beat rain
  • Gators blank Leopards before lightning ends it
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