The guys who run Baltimore's sports stations all agree: The winning Orioles did significantly boost this season's radio and TV ratings.
"I can directly attribute our higher ratings to the Orioles and their better play," said Bob Philips, vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Baltimore, which owns WJZ-FM, 105.7 The Fan. "It certainly helped us. It's great when both sports teams do well. It drives up our ratings."
The Orioles, who took second place in the American League East and qualified for one of two AL wild-card spots, averaged about 4,000 more fans per game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 2012 and topped last year's mark in total attendance, according to team statistics.
In the Baltimore radio market, WJZ-FM, which doesn't even carry Orioles play-by-play, was No. 1 among men ages 25-54 in October, largely because of incredible listener interest in the team, Philips said.
WJZ-FM took first place for that key male demographic in October's full-day ratings, according to radio ratings firm Arbitron. That's up from sixth place in July and August and fourth place in September, as the Orioles prepared for their playoff run.
The station's morning show with Ed Norris and Steve Davis -- a frequent Orioles talk waterhole -- has been first in that male 25-54 demo most months since summer, rising in total audience share from a 7.7 in July to a lofty 10.3 in October.
Philips said his station, even without Orioles play-by-play, often beat rival WBAL, the Orioles' flagship station.
Philips pointed out that WJZ-FM posted a strong 6.8 share at night with team-themed call-in programming, even when WBAL was carrying Orioles baseball. That's up from a 5.6 share in September and a 6.2 in August.
"Our listenership wants to talk in the pre- and postgame shows," Phillips said. "We want to interact with fans. People love talking about [the Orioles], especially when they're winning."
Dave Hill, the program director at WBAL, 1090 AM, which carried the Orioles for many years except for a stretch between 2007 and '10, when they were on WJZ-FM, agreed with Philips about the ratings surge.