Uncle Ted is setting us straight on radio. I just had a few comments myself to divulge.
I feel it's more of a supply and demand thing. Radio will only broadcast what it can sell. Obviously (and sadly) the radio stations (clear channel, infinity, citadel, etc.) can't sell Capitals programming and a major league sport has to dole out the cash to get on air.
If the Caps were a "big" hit in DC, you can be sure that the radio stations would cease to charge Uncle Ted and sell the advertising themselves (they generate more revenue that way). Unfortunately, that means if a sport is "cold" like the Caps (even with Ovechkin), radio stations will not submit their sales teams to market what they already believe to be a "hard sell." In other words, if they can't make money selling it themselves, it's not worth it.
Having worked for a radio station I can say that yes there is a double standard. While my company shelled big bucks to cover U of A sports (somewhere in the millions of dollars), another broadcast company had to pay for the time on air to broadcast high school football on the same station. If the station can not make money off it's broadcast, what's the point of putting it on air. The radio stations have to prove they are getting the ratings to assure advertisers are getting what they pay for.
So while the 'skins get love, the Caps don't. It all boils to cold hard cash. I have see radio stations in Texas beat each other over the head for coverage of High School Football, but when it comes to a professional minor league hockey team, fan's pleas to broadcast away games fell on deaf ears.
Radio stations are feeling the crunch from satellite radio, television, even ipods now that mp3 jacks are now standard in most new vehicles sold. If they can't get ratings and earn the cash, they are not going to broadcast. Simple as that.
That means covering Capitals games is not a priority for stations. However, win a few Stanley Cups, and they will knock down your door for the broadcasting rights. In radio, you are either hot or you're not.