ABC7 Chicago and the Cubs have had a deal to carry about 25 games since 2015. This is the final season of that deal, along with it being the final year for WGN-TV and NBC Sports Chicago carrying Cubs games. All Cubs games (save national games on Fox-TV or ESPN) will be shown on the Marquee Sports Network beginning in 2020.
The Cubs-Reds game originally scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tuesday on ABC-7 is getting bumped to the newly rebranded CW-26, a move bound to confuse even some diligent viewers who try to stay abreast of which TV outlet is carrying the Cubs on a given day.
“ABC-7 will inform our viewers of the schedule changes with extensive on-air, online and social media promotion,” the station said in a statement.
While the Cubs’ TV partners divvy up the games well in advance of ABC deciding what it will schedule and when, it appears ABC-7 bosses were caught off guard by the decision in recent days to put the “Bachelor” season-ender in the 7 p.m. Tuesday slot. That necessitated moving baseball to what might be better known as WCIU-Ch. 26.
WCIU once was a familiar secondary outlet for displaced WGN games when that station had a programming conflict with its many sports events, but it’s no longer on Cubs fans’ radar for games.
To clarify, this is next Tuesday, September 17.
This change leaves two games remaining on ABC7: Friday, September 20 against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field, and the last game of the regular season vs. the Cardinals in St. Louis Sunday, September 29.
If you watch Cubs games outside the team’s market territory via MLB Extra Innings or MLB.tv, this will not affect you, as you’ll continue to view the game via your usual method.
This game is also being broadcast on ESPN.
I will note this change in the Cubs/Reds series preview on Monday, and also in the game preview on Tuesday.