I posted in an earlier discussion regarding WGN America that I would go on a hunt to find the ratings of the superstation. I have come up with this, from tmcnet.com which offers some insight. It's from December 2012.
Here's the highlight:
TBS is ranked 11th, FX is 13th and WGN America 40th in average viewership among cable networks through November, according to Nielsen.
As I have contended, ratings for Cubs games make little, if any difference in the ratings for WGN America. If so, I would think you'd see ratings somewhat different than this. I'm going to assume this was the average ranking January-November 2012.
You'll note the difference in earnings between TBS and WGN.
This is why a new regime at Tribco is about to overhaul WGN America, beginning with new and original programming, according to these recent items from Deadline: Hollywood. Hiring a former programmer from FX means a change -- a real big change is coming.
The old 1980's business model for WGN America, IMHO, is coming to an end. The mix of Chicago-centric programming will end. Cubs baseball will eventually vanish. However, the NBA will stay. WGN will not give up these grandfathered Bulls telecasts, and the NBA demographic is young. Baseball's is aging.
The countdown is on. It's going to be the end of nationwide telecasts of Cubs baseball in a few years. Baseball games in prime time -- no matter how good or bad the team is -- will not work for a network that's actually going to act like a network that wants ratings and profits. It doesn't make any sense. (We never seem to include the White Sox in these discussions, but they, too -- will vanish from WGN America.)
The only compromise I can see -- is that day and weekend games might stick. But that's about all.