Cubs

Cubs set massive year-to-year tv ratings increases on CSN

Cubs set massive year-to-year tv ratings increases on CSN

2015 Final Season Average Increased 121% for Households (up 153% for Adults 25-54) compared to 2014; 

Highest Final Season Cubs Average on Comcast SportsNet in SIX YEARS; 

Significant Year-to-Year Increases for “Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto” & “Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois”

Chicago, IL (October 5, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 MLB Postseason-bound Chicago Cubs (finished 2015 with a 97-65 record), posted massive year-to-year television ratings increases in overall Chicago market households and in every key demographic category, along with scoring significant TV ratings increases for its surrounding pre/postgame programming.

Comcast SportsNet’s Cubs television ratings averaged a 3.32 household rating in 2015 (approx. 112,317 Chicago market TV households tuning in per game)-- a 121% increase over 2014’s 1.50 final household season average (NOTE: Over 60,000 MORE Chicago market TV homes tuned in per game this season compared to last season).  The 3.32 Chicago market household average is also the highest Cubs final season average on Comcast SportsNet in SIX YEARS (4.13 avg. in 2009).

Comcast SportsNet also experienced exponential year-to-year ratings growth in EVERY key advertising demo category, including Adults 18-34 (up 132%)…Adults 18-49 (up 169%)…Adults 25-54 (up 153%)…Men 18-34 (up 129%)…Men 18-49 (up 159%)…and Men 25-54 (up 172%).

On September 8 at St. Louis, Comcast SportsNet posted its highest Cubs single game rating since August 2009 with a 5.7 household average and a 7.1 peak rating.  In addition, the 3.0 Adults 25-54 rating for this game was also the network’s highest rating in this key demo since the 2011 season.

Out of 83 total Cubs telecasts on Comcast SportsNet in 2015, seven games averaged “at least a 5.0 household rating,” while 20 games averaged “at least a 4.0 household rating.”  The network’s highest-rated Cubs game in 2014 (among 79 total game telecasts) was a 3.4 (occurred on May 5 vs. White Sox).

In addition to its Cubs game ratings success 2015, Comcast SportsNet’s Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto household ratings finished up 64% compared to last season (75% increase in Adults 25-54), while Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois household ratings increased 158% (up 188% in Adults 25-54).  Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research.

In addition, Comcast SportsNet’s digital home – CSNChicago.com – experienced a solid 33% increase in Cubs-related web traffic compared to last season.

Beginning TONIGHT -- Comcast SportsNet will carry expanded Cubs National League Wild Card coverage leading up to Wednesday night’s huge, one-game showdown in Pittsburgh.  Please note the following on-air programming line-up (all times are Central Time) and accompanying digital coverage on CSNChicago.com:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs playoffs discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and numerous baseball experts.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – The latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

7:00 PM – Cubs Classic: Cubs vs. Pittsburgh (from 5/15/15)– This thrilling 12-inning battle between the Cubs and Pirates at Wrigley Field saw the Cubs holding on to a 10-5 lead heading into the eighth inning (featuring a 3-run HR from Kris Bryant in the third and an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in the fourth), but the Pirates stormed back to tie it at ten apiece in the ninth. The unexpected, however, took place in the bottom of the 12th inning when Pirates RF Gregory Polanco slipped on a routine pop fly, allowing Starlin Castro to score the winning run.

10:00 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralThe latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

10:30 PM – We Are Good: A Celebration of the 2015 Chicago Cubs– Hosted by Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull), this brand new, half-hour, magazine-style special includes a number of fascinating feature stories highlighted by a recap of the Cubs postseason-clinching celebration from Sept. 26 at Wrigley Field.  Plus, fans can look forward to a number of additional special features, including the following among others:

-          #WeAreGood – Feature on how Miguel Montero’s April 18th hashtag created a team slogan that caught on all season long in both the Cubs clubhouse and with fans throughout the nation.

-          Walk Up Music – How do players pick their walk-up music, and why they do it?  Cubs players weigh in on the new walk up feature brought to Wrigley Field, thanks to the brand new in-stadium video boards.

-          Maddon on atmosphere – Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses what makes the Wrigley atmosphere arguably the best in baseball.

-          The ‘Old Scoreboard’ – With most of the attention on the ‘new’ video boards in 2015, SportsNet Central’s Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer) takes us inside the old scoreboard to show us it’s still very much a part of Wrigley Field.

-          The Best of the Cubs – A rollout feature with all the key highlights of the 2015 Chicago Cubs playoff-bound season.

-          Jake Arrieta – A detailed look at the overall dominance of the best pitchers in all of baseball.

-          NOTE: We Are Good: A Celebration of the 2015 Chicago Cubs will re-air Tue, Oct. 6 at 9pm on CSN+

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs playoffs discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan, numerous baseball experts, along with live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – The latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull.

9:30 PM/10:00 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralThe latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: Cubs Playoff Preview– Hosted by CSN’s Cubs Pre/Postgame Live tandem of David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth (@hollytime28), this special edition of SportsNet Central will provide fans with a full, detailed preview of the Cubs-Pirates Wild Card match-up, including live reports from Kelly Crull and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney), along the latest team/player news, interviews, season-long match-up highlights, and an overview of every upcoming MLB Playoff series.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs-Pirates Wild Card Game night preview discussion & analysis featuring host David Kaplan, numerous baseball experts, along with live, on-site reports from Pittsburgh via Kelly Crull and Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney.

6:00 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto– Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, this special, one-hour edition of Cubs Pregame Live will break down and preview every aspect of the Cubs-Pirates battle and will feature numerous interviews, preview highlights, and live, on-site reports from Pittsburgh via Crull and Mooney.

10:30 PM (time approx.) Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois– An expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the game, plus, additional live on-field post-game reports from Pittsburgh and much more.

In addition to the comprehensive Cubs Wild Card playoff coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com throughout the week for even more comprehensive 24/7 coverage, including:

  • Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference (sponsored by Xfinity).
  • “Cubs Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media and behind-the-scenes destination that reveals the latest real time trending topics, player buzz and expert insight from Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, “Cubs Pulse” aggregates all Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CubsTalk.
  • “Cubs In-Game Live,” – featuring STATS Inc.’s enhanced Game Zone real-time tracking system – is a second screen platform for PCs, tablets and mobile devices that combine state-of-the-art infographics, data visualization of real-time statistics and game info with rich social interactivity tied to CSN Chicago’s live game broadcasts.
  • Push Alerts: CSN Chicago will deliver Cubs push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Cubs playoffs news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BullsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and Golf Central. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk and BearsTalk, PrepsTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney will provide extensive team/player news, special feature stories, and much more throughout the week. Follow him on Twitter @CSNMooney for 24/7 inside access.  Cubs digital reporter and producer Tony Andracki will also provide Cubs reports/features on the beat with Mooney.  Follow @CSNCubs on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and the very latest team news.
  • CSNChicago.com’s state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Cubs playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • CSNChicago.com, NBC Sports and HardBallTalk.com will also produce Cubs content in tandem, which will include on-camera segments and digital reports.
  • Yahoo: Via the Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network digital alliance, CSNChicago.com’s Cubs content will be available via sports.yahoo.com.
  • Cubs coverage on CSNChicago.com/Cubs is presented by Toyota.

Report: People around baseball believe Joe Girardi is waiting for managerial job with Cubs or White Sox

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USA TODAY

Report: People around baseball believe Joe Girardi is waiting for managerial job with Cubs or White Sox

Joe Girardi won't be the manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, perhaps because he has hopes of landing a gig in Chicago.

According to Fancred's Jon Heyman, Girardi was in the running for the Reds' managerial job (which went to former Cubs third-base coach David Bell this weekend) but pulled himself out, this after interviewing for but not getting the same position with the Texas Rangers. Heyman cites "industry speculation" that Girardi might want to remain a free agent so he can land the job of skipper in Chicago.

Heyman is of course not specific, listing a city with two major league teams, leaving this open for interpretation as either the Cubs or the White Sox.

Obviously Girardi has a history on the North Side. He had two stints there as a player, from 1989 to 1992 and again from 2000 to 2002. Joe Maddon has one year remaining on his contract, and Cubs president Theo Epstein said during his end-of-season press conference that the team has not had discussions with Maddon about an extension. After managing the New York Yankees to their most recent World Series championship in 2009, Girardi might again want a crack at managing a big-market contender.

But if Girardi is simply itching to get back to his home state — he was born in Peoria and graduated from Northwestern — perhaps he has the White Sox on his wish list, too. Rick Renteria has one year remaining on his current contract, as well, and should the rebuilding White Sox see all their young talent turn into the contender they've planned, the manager of such a team would be an attractive position to hold.

But just because folks believe Girardi wants to manage in Chicago doesn't mean there'd be mutual interest. Despite Epstein's comments that there have been no extension talks with Maddon, the president of baseball operations also backed his manager in that same press conference, refusing to blame Maddon for the team's "broken" offense down the stretch last month. And Rick Hahn and the rest of White Sox brass heap frequent praise on the job Renteria has done in his two years, describing him as an important part of player development and of establishing a culture hoped to spread throughout the organization.

Plus, it's worth mentioning that Girardi's decade-long tenure in the Bronx came to an end amid suggestion that he was unable to connect with his young players. It's unknown how much of a realistic concern that would be for any team thinking about hiring him. But the recently fired Chili Davis believed that very issue was part of the reason his time as the Cubs' hitting coach came to an end. And there are few teams out there younger than the White Sox.

Again, it's just speculation for now. But if for some reason one or both Chicago teams don't hand out new contracts to their current managers, perhaps Girardi would be interested in an opening on either side of town.

ICYMI: The Bears lose a shootout, the Bulls drop their home-opener and the Blackhawks

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: The Bears lose a shootout, the Bulls drop their home-opener and the Blackhawks

It was a busy weekend for Chicago sports fans, from the Bulls' home-opener, to two Blackhawks games and a shootout at Soldier Field between the Bears and Patriots.

Bears

The Bears came a yard away on a Hail Mary pass from forcing overtime, ultimately losing a 38-31 shootout to the Patriots and showing they still have much to prove. Mitchell Trubisky said that there is a new standard and that coming up short is not good enough anymore.

While Trubisky's accuracy was uneven Sunday, he showed continued development, throwing for 300+ yards for the third straight game. He also scored on a nifty eight-yard rushing touchdown in which he covered 71.9 yards of distance.

While the Bears struggled to contain the Patriots' offense and recorded just one sack, the defense is still confident in the unit and team overall. 

Bulls

Off the court, Denzel Valentine suffered a setback on his injured left ankle and will be reevaluated in two weeks. On the court, the Bulls' defense cost them Saturday against the Pistons, but especially late on Ish Smith's game-winning basket for the Pistons.

With Kris Dunn on paternity leave, the Bulls signed guard Shaquille Harrison and waived center Omer Asik. The move comes on the heels of Fred Hoiberg saying potential lineup changes are "still up in the air." 

The Bulls also announced three broadcasters that will call the first five road games minus-longtime play-by-play man Neil Funk. Funk is cutting 20 road games from his schedule this season.

Blackhawks

Corey Crawford picked up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017, leading the Blackhawks to victory in vintage fashion. The Blackhawks were outshot 28-15 through two periods, and Crawford stood tall en route to a 4-1 Blackhawks' win.

Following his return from a major injury, the Blackhawks will monitor Crawford's workload moving forward. 

Meanwhile, in Columbus, Blue Jackets forward Anthony Duclair regrets not making the most of his stint with the Blackhawks last season. Also, the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks are both experiencing challenges as a result of the Brandon Saad-Artemi Panarin trade from last summer.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they set an NHL record and tied a franchise record (confusing, we know) by allowing 33 shots on goal during the second period Sunday. The Blackhawks ultimately fell 6-3, though Alexandre Fortin scored his first career NHL goal in the process.