Cubs

7 MILLION Chicago TV households tuned in for 52 live pro games in April on CSN

7 MILLION Chicago TV households tuned in for 52 live pro games in April on CSN

7,000,000 CHICAGO TV HOUSEHOLDS TUNED IN FOR
52 LIVE PRO GAMES IN APRIL ON COMCAST SPORTSNET
Biggest month in Network history also includes 3.8 million homes tuning in for PrePost Game Live2.8 million homes tuned in to live editions of SportsNet Central & Chicago Tribune Live 1 Highest-Rated Cable Network in Primetime in April for Households & Every Demo Category1 Overall Highest-Rated Television Station in Primetime for Every Male Demo & Adults 18-49
Chicago, IL (May 2, 2011) Fueled by two thrilling Bulls and Blackhawks first round playoff series (which included the 1 highest-rated Bulls and 1 highest-rated Blackhawks telecasts in network history), along with the always-anticipated start of another baseball season on both sides of town, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, delivered record-setting television ratings during the month of April 2011.

Over the past month (April 1 May 1), Comcast SportsNet televised 52 live professional games (Blackhawks: four regular seasonseven playoffs; Bulls: two regular seasonfive playoffs; Cubs: 14 regular season; White Sox: 18 regular season; Fire: two regular season) amassing a total viewing audience of close to SEVEN MILLION Chicago TV households (6,956,864). During this time period, the network set a new weekly record amassing over 2.6 million homes tuning in for 15 live pro events from April 18-24. (NOTE: Over the course of SIX weeks last year, Apr. 1 - May 16, 2010, Comcast SportsNet carried 66 live pro events gathering 6.5 million Chicago TV homes tuning in.)

In addition, Comcast SportsNet also attracted 3.8 million Chicago TV homes tuning in for all live editions of Pre-Game Live and Post Game Live, including a record-breaking 5.3 household rating for Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live on April 24 (over 186,300 homes). Plus 2.9 million more Chicago TV homes also tuned in to the networks locally-produced, live sports news and talk programming (SportsNet Central & Chicago Tribune Live). Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research.

This past month has demonstrated the incredible passion of Chicago sports fans, along with the depth of our local sports coverage, said James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. We understand how much Chicago sports fans love their teams and thats why well continue to go beyond just game coverage with expert insight, analysis and the very latest local sports news and detailed information thats important to our fan base. Naturally, none of this would be possible without the enormous success and popularity of our pro team partners and I credit their staffs, along with our distributors, our advertisers and everyone here at Comcast SportsNet, for making the most of this very exciting time in Chicago sports history.

During primetime (7:00-10:00 PM CT) over the past month (averaging in all nights when it carried a live pro game telecast), Comcast SportsNet was the 1-highest rated cable television network in the Chicago market for every major TV ratings category including Households and the key advertising demo of Adults 25-54. In addition, Comcast SportsNet was 1 overall in primetime (which includes all broadcast TV stations) in the demo categories of Men 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 25-54, Adults 18-34 & Adults 18-49 (Comcast SportsNet was 2 overall in Adults 25-54 and 3 overall for Households).

On Tuesday, April 26, Comcast SportsNet enjoyed the biggest night in its 6 year history, which included live coverage of the Bulls First RoundGame 5 series clincher vs. Indiana (10.93 household rating2 highest-rated Bulls game in network history) and the Blackhawks First RoundGame 7 OT battle at Vancouver (13.33 household rating1 highest-rated Blackhawks game in network history). On that historic night, Comcast SportsNet was the 1 overall highest-rated television network for eight-straight hours from 5:30 PM 1:30 AM.

The top spotlight over the past month is the fact that the Top 5 highest-rated games EVER to air on Comcast SportsNet (which includes every Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox telecast since the network launched on October 1, 2004) all occurred during the course of a five-day period (Apr. 21-26):
1) 13.69 Bulls at IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 3 on April 21)2) 13.33 Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 7 on April 26)3) 12.45 Blackhawks vs. VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 6 on April 24)4) 10.93 Bulls vs. IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 26)5) 10.58 Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 21)

Breaking down where Cubs can turn NLCS around and beat L.A.

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USA TODAY

Breaking down where Cubs can turn NLCS around and beat L.A.

“Sometimes, you got to lay your marbles out there,” Jon Lester said Sunday night inside Dodger Stadium’s visiting clubhouse, before the Cubs flew home from Los Angeles down 0-2 in the National League Championship Series. “And you get beat.”

It will be extremely difficult for the Cubs to win four of the next five games against the Dodgers, starting Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. But the Cubs had the, uh, marbles to win last year’s World Series and have developed the muscle memory from winning six playoff rounds and playing in 33 postseason games since October 2015.

There is a cross section left of the 2015 team that beat the Pittsburgh Pirates and silenced PNC Park’s blackout crowd in a sudden-death wild-card game. While 2016 is seen in hindsight as a year of destiny, those Cubs still had to kill the myths about the even-year San Francisco Giants, survive a 21-inning scoreless streak against the Dodgers and win Games 5, 6, 7 against the Cleveland Indians under enormous stress.

There is at least a baseline of experience to draw from and the sense that the Cubs won’t panic and beat themselves, the way the Washington Nationals broke down in the NL Division Series.

· Remember the Cubs pointed to how their rotation set up as soon as Cleveland took a 3-1 lead in last year’s World Series: Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks would each give them a chance to win that night. The Dodgers will now have to deal with last year’s major-league ERA leader (Hendricks) in Game 3 and a Cy Young Award winner (Arrieta) on Wednesday night in Game 4.

“Obviously, we know we need to get wins at this point,” Hendricks said. “But approaching it as a must-win is a little extreme. We've just got to go out there and play our brand of baseball.

“Since we accomplished that, we know we just have to take it game by game. Even being down 3-1 (in the World Series), we worry about the next game. In that situation, we didn’t think we had to win three in a row or anything like that. We just came to the ballpark the next day and worried about what we had to do that day.”

· The history lessons only go so far when the Dodgers can line up Yu Darvish as their Game 3 starter instead of, say, Josh Tomlin. There is also a huge difference between facing a worn-down Cleveland staff in late October/early November and a rested Dodger team that clinched a division title on Sept. 22 and swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round. Joe Blanton and Pedro Baez aren’t walking through that bullpen door, either.

“We’ve done it before. We’ve been there before,” shortstop Addison Russell said. “But this year’s a new year. That’s a different ballclub. We’re definitely going to have to bring it.”

· Outside of Kenley Jansen, can you name anyone else in the Los Angeles bullpen off the top of your head? No doubt, the Dodger relievers have been awesome in Games 1 and 2 combined: Eight scoreless innings, zero hits, zero walks and Anthony Rizzo the only one out of 25 batters to reach base when Jansen hit him with a 93.7-mph pitch.

But the Dodgers are going to make mistakes, and the Cubs will have to capitalize. Unless this is the same kind of synthesis from the 2015 NLCS, when the New York Mets used exhaustive scouting reports, power pitching and pinpoint execution to sweep a Cubs team that had already hit the wall.

“Their bullpen is a lot stronger than it was last year,” Kris Bryant said. “They’re really good at throwing high fastballs in the zone. A lot of other teams try to, and they might hit it one out of every four. But this team, it seems like they really can hammer the top of the zone. And they have guys that throw in the upper 90s, so when you mix those two, it’s tough to catch up.”

· Bryant is not having a good October (5-for-28 with 13 strikeouts) and both Lester and Jose Quintana have more hits (one each) than Javier Baez (0-for-19 with eight strikeouts) during the playoffs. But we are still talking about the reigning NL MVP and last year’s NLCS co-MVP.

Ben Zobrist is clearly diminished and no longer the switch-hitting force who became last year’s World Series MVP. Kyle Schwarber doesn’t have the same intimidation factor or playoff aura right now. But one well-timed bunt from Zobrist or a “Schwarbomb” onto the video board could change the entire direction of this series and put the pressure on a Dodger team that knows this year is World Series or bust.

“We need to hit a couple balls hard consecutively,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Once we’re able to do that, we’ll gain our offensive mojo back. That's all that’s going on.

“I inherited something from my dad, and that was patience. So you’ve got to be patient right now. You’ve got to keep putting the boys back out there. You keep believing in them, and eventually it comes back to you.”

· Maddon is a 63-year-old man who opened Monday’s stadium club press conference at Wrigley Field by talking about dry-humping, clearly annoyed by all the second-guessers on Twitter and know-it-all sports writers who couldn’t believe All-Star closer Wade Davis got stranded in the bullpen, watching the ninth inning of Sunday’s 1-1 game turn into a 4-1 walk-off loss.

By the time a potential save situation develops on Tuesday night, roughly 120 hours will have passed since Davis threw his 44th and final pitch at Nationals Park, striking out Bryce Harper to end an instant classic. Just guessing that Maddon will be in the mood to unleash Davis.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?