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Attendance at Camden Yards was low in '16, but Orioles TV ratings were very high

Local TV ratings for the Orioles this year were as high as they've been in nearly two decades.

The Orioles finished the regular season averaging an announced 26,819 fans per game, 20th in baseball and behind even the San Diego Padres (29,029), the National League West's worst team. You know the reasons by now.

Interest in the club probably isn't one of them. According to SportsBusiness Journal, the Orioles posted their highest local TV ratings since 1997, when they finished with the best record in the American League and advanced to the AL Championship Series.

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The Orioles finished with an average TV rating of 6.78, meaning their games drew nearly 7 percent of viewers with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network this year. Only the Kansas City Royals (11.10), St. Louis Cardinals (8.15) and Detroit Tigers (7.02) fared better, according to SBJ.

After the Orioles' .500 season last year, viewership surged with the Orioles' ascent to the top of the AL East, and then the wild-card race. Ratings improved 27 percent, the fifth-highest jump overall, behind the Cleveland Indians (62 percent), Chicago Cubs (41 percent), Colorado Rockies (31 percent) and Texas Rangers (30 percent).

Viewership numbers for the Toronto Blue Jays were not available for analysis, SBJ said.

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