CSN delivers its highest-rated Cubs regular season telecast in network history


CSN delivers its highest-rated Cubs regular season telecast in network history

NEW All-Time CUBS (and new CSN Chicago “regular season” All-Time) TV Ratings Record: 11.19 (#1 in Chicago market); solid 6.0 rating in the key Adults 25-54 demo

Close to 389,000 Chicago TV homes watched CSN’s entire Cubs-Brewers game coverage (7:00 – 10:15 PM);

Over 465,000 homes were tuned in during the peak quarter-hour of 10:00-10:15 PM

CSN Chicago was also #1 in the Chicago market for 12-STRAIGHT HOURS (12:30 PM to 12:30 AM)

Chicago, IL (September 16, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the 2016 NL Central Division champion Chicago Cubs, delivered its highest Cubs single game rating ever last evening (September 15) -- an 11.19 Chicago market household rating for its live coverage of the Cubs match-up against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.  The 11.19 Chicago market household (HH) rating on CSN last evening also shattered the following previous records:

  • NEW Cubs game rating record for CSN Chicago (previous Cubs high on CSN – 8.30 HH on July 28, 2008 vs. MIL)
  • NEW record for the highest-rated Cubs game in the history of any Chicago regional sports network (previous Cubs high occurred on Fox Sports Net Chicago – 8.49 HH: Cubs at HOU on June 16, 2004)
  • NEW record for the highest-rated regular season game telecast – for any team – in CSN Chicago history (previous high – 8.73 HH: Bulls vs. IND on January 25, 2012)

For last night’s Cubs telecast, Comcast SportsNet attracted approx. 388,875 Chicago market households for the entire length of the game (7:00-10:15 PM) and scored a 13.4 “peak” rating during the 10:15 PM quarter-hour (over 465,600 Chicago market households).  Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research overnights.

Comcast SportsNet was also the #1-highest rated television network in the Chicago market for TWELVE-STRAIGHT HOURS (from 12:30 PM-12:30 AM) among Chicago DMA households last night & in virtually every key demographic category – which included the following roster of CSN programming:  White Pregame Live presented by the Kowalis Family of Dealerships (live), White Sox vs. Cleveland game telecast (live), Subaru White Sox Postgame Live (live), Bears Blitz presented by Xfinity (live), SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado (live), SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business (live), Bases Loaded (live), Cubs vs. Milwaukee game telecast (live), Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois (live), The Hard Count with Brian Urlacher presented by RESTORE (premiere), Inside Look: Kyle Hendricks presented by Cadillac (premiere), Pro Football Weekly, and SportsNet Central presented by CLR

Through 72 live telecasts so far this season, the Cubs on Comcast SportsNet are currently averaging a 4.52 Chicago market household rating, an increase of 36% compared to last season’s final 3.32 HH average.  In addition, Cubs games on CSN this season have also experienced massive year-to-year increases in every key demo category, including Adults 18-49 (up 36%) and Adults 25-54 (up 57%).

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Comcast SportsNet’s next Cubs telecast airs TODAY (Friday, September 16), as the Cubs will continue their home series against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Live coverage from the Wrigley Field gets underway with Cubs Pregame Live presented by Field Auto Group at 12:30 PM CT with first pitch set for 1:20 PM.  THEN…immediately after the game on Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, CSN will take viewers inside the Cubs clubhouse for LIVE coverage of the team’s official 2016 NL Central Division Championship celebration. 

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

There were some added stakes to Saturday night’s Cubs-Dodgers matchup. Darvish made his first start at Dodger Stadium since his infamous Game 7 loss in the 2017 World Series, looking for a great effort in front of a fan base that had their up-and-downs in terms of their relationship with him. He (maybe) took a small jab at the Dodgers before the game had even started, telling the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't worried about being booed because “the Dodgers don't have many fans here in the first three innings, so maybe it will be on the quieter side.”

Well Dodgers faithful certainly got the message and made sure to let Darvish hear it.

However, Darvish got the last laugh on Saturday night. He pitched a stellar seven innings. Over those seven innings, Darvish gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and also notched 10 strikeouts.

Darvish has been hitting his stride as of late, maintaining a 2.96 ERA over his last four starts.

All of that being said, it would be remiss of me not to mention the contributions of Darvish’s teammates. His great outing helped keep the Cubs in the game, but the gutsy performances of Anthony Rizzo and Pedro Strop are what won the contest.

Dodgers All-Star relief pitcher Kenley Jansen had a 10-game scoreless streak coming into Saturday night, but one swing of Rizzo’s bat was all that was needed to restore balance to the everlasting battle of pitcher versus hitter. After Jansen hit Kris Bryant with a pitch to put him on base, Rizzo activated “clutch mode”, mashing a 400-foot bomb out to right field.

Though small, Saturday night’s homer gives Rizzo a three-game hitting streak, perhaps forecasting that things are trending  upwards for the first baseman as the Cubs look to close out the series against the Dodgers with a win on Sunday night. And not to be left out of the fun, Pedro Strop came in to face the Justin Turner, MVP hopeful Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Matt Beaty to nail down the save.

Never afraid of high-pressure moments, Stop came through big time.

Strop got a ground out from Turner, struck out Bellinger and Beaty in his 15-pitch save effort. This was a much-needed win for the Cubs, who have well-documented struggles on the road. As they look to split the four-game set with the Dodgers on Sunday night, the Cubs can be pleased with their fight this week.

Saturday’s win over the Dodgers was the Cubs first win of the season after trailing through six innings, as they were 0-23 in such situations prior to the victory. Amid a season that has been fraught with injury and general roster construction concerns, it was wonderful to see the Cubs pull out a tough win lead by the much-maligned Darvish and the never-quit attitude of his teammates.

Cubs put Kyle Hendricks on 10-Day IL

Cubs put Kyle Hendricks on 10-Day IL

On Saturday, the Cubs announced that they are placing starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks on the 10-day I.L.with right shoulder inflammation. 

Following Hendricks' injury, the Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Rowan Wick from Triple-A. Wick will be available on Saturday night and beyond, as the Cubs continue their four-game series against the Dodgers. 

This obviously a significant blow for the Cubs, as Hendricks is the team leader in innings pitched (88.1).

Prior to his loss on Friday night, Hendricks had won three straight outings, giving up less than 3 ER in each game. 

The Cubs have plenty of options to replace Hendricks for the time being. With an off day until Monday, they could keep their rotation intact. Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery are options, and the Cubs could push Hendricks next start back to by going with a spot starter. 

Stellar pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay is another intriuging option, and he is coming off of a great outing with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. On Fridaym he racked up 9 strikeouts, giving up 8 hits and 2 ER. 

The 24-year old Alzolay is ranked as the Cubs' fourth-overall prospect and the Hendricks injury could open the door for Alzolay to get called up.

The more likely scenario is that Cubs manager Joe Maddon chooses to use Chatwood. 

Chatwood is the only pitcher outside of the everyday rotation to have made a start this year and is the most obvious stopgap solution until we get further updates on Hendricks' status.