What do the Cubs mean to WGN America?

This was at the end of a long thread from Al's story from a few days ago. I move it to a fanpost for possible discussion.

2013 Cable Network Ratings

This is what original programming and aggressive promotion on other cable networks can do

The 4 airings of "Salem" that premiere night drew 2.3 million, says the LA Times.

I have found stats from 2012 in a book called "Ratings Analysis: Audience Measurement and Analytics." It lists the average WGN America audience, at any given time is 75,000 households. You’ll note the stats from Deadline: Hollywood are ratings in the millions. 75K? .00001. It's like you are not even on the air.

WGNA loses to OWN, but it beats SoapNet. (both channels. (OWN, 79K, Soap Net, 69K, according to this 2012 book) (Oprah Winfrey Network)

What has Cubs baseball meant for WGN America? NOTHING. The Sox? less than zero. The Bulls? Ignored.

Former executives from FX (Top 10 Cable Net) now run WGN A. Turner Broadcasting understood what needed to be done to achieve success years ago -- drop local programming. Look where the 2 networks are now. They are true national networks.

Like it or not, we are a boutique audience, us Cubs viewers on WGN A. Barely measurable. Wax nostalgic all you want, but the numbers prove — nobody’s watching.

1.5 million for a show beats 75,000. I wish I had access to real, hour by hour ratings In prime time — I theorize ratings DROP during Cubs/Sox/Bulls. The audience is too specialized.

With original programming, WGN A has the chance to actually make sure it’s not dropped by Cable systems. As the article points out, it’s only in 67% of American homes.

If the net can continue this aggressive stance on new programming and promotion, it has a pulse. Chicago sports are a speedbump.

I respectfully disagree with the opinion "What’s WGN A without the Cubs?" Right now, it makes no difference if Cubs baseball or a rerun of "America’s Funniest Home Videos" is on. Ratings stink for both shows. This is the correct business decision. Improve programming. Drop Chicago sports which appeal to a tiny, very very very minority audience. Stay national.

So, I will have to pay more. I already have the NHL package. I’ll have to go back to Extra Innings. This is the new world of sports TV. It’s better than living in a town where you can’t even see your own team’s games on basic cable. (Time Warner Cable’s current impasse in Los Angeles and Comcast’s similar situation in Houston.)

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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