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Cubs win Wednesday night TV ratings battle

Three channels carried the Cubs/White Sox game Wednesday night, and the Cubs TV team came out on top.

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

There were plenty of places to watch Wednesday evening’s 8-3 Cubs win over the White Sox.

ABC7 Chicago carried the Cubs TV team of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies, and that game was also made available live (in-market) via the Cubs and ABC7 Facebook pages.

CSN Chicago carried the White Sox TV team of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone.

And ESPN had national coverage of the game, not blacked out in the Chicago market, featuring Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti and former Cubs David Ross and Rick Sutcliffe.

The Cubs won the game and also were on top of the TV ratings overnight numbers, writes Phil Rosenthal in the Tribune:

From 7 p.m. to 11:15 p.m., Nielsen’s estimates indicate 6.5 percent of all Chicago-area households -- or roughly 225,100 homes -- were tuned into Kasper and Deshaies for the third of this season's four interleague games between the crosstown rival Cubs and White Sox.

Harrelson and Stone on CSN Chicago averaged a 2.4 rating, or about 83,100 homes. That’s the highest-rated White Sox game on CSN since a 2.7 for their 2014 season-opening victory over the Twins.

Enough local White Sox, Cubs and neutral fans found and/or sought out ESPN’s coverage for Benetti, Ross and Sutcliffe to average a 1.5 Chicago household rating, or close to 52,000 households in the market.

Presuming few, if any, were watching multiple broadcasts at the same time, that’s approximately 360,000 homes, or a little more than 10 percent of all TV-viewing households in the Chicago viewing area tuned into this game. That’s a pretty high rating for a regular-season game.

Cubs TV ratings overall in the season’s first half were down over 2016, according to Danny Ecker in Crain’s Chicago Business:

After an unexpected and disappointing first half, Cubs TV ratings on CSN Chicago are down 14 percent from this time last year.

The 3.6 average (about 125,000 Chicago TV households) over 42 games on the regional network still is strong compared with the past several years and makes the Cubs the most-watched team on CSN Chicago.

This isn’t surprising, given the Cubs’ great performance in the first half of 2016 compared to the mediocre first half of 2017. Overall, CSN’s Cubs broadcasts averaged a 4.5 rating for all of 2016. If the team’s second half continues the way it’s started, they could come close to matching that rating by the time this year is over.


Wednesday night’s Cubs/White Sox game...

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    I watched ABC7 (Len/JD) only
    (225 votes)
  • 2%
    I watched CSN (Hawk/Stone) only
    (12 votes)
  • 34%
    I watched ESPN only
    (197 votes)
  • 18%
    I watched some combination of the above
    (103 votes)
  • 1%
    I was at the game and did not see it on TV
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    I did not watch this game at all
    (26 votes)
569 votes total Vote Now