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Chicago White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago Delivers Highest-Rated June in Seven Years

Digital Consumption Increases on NBCSportsChicago.com, the ‘MyTeams by NBC Sports’ App, and on “White Sox Talk” Podcast

Chicago, IL (July 9, 2019) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE Home of the #AuthenticFan - has posted across-the-board increases compared to 2018 on TV and digital for its Chicago White Sox game telecasts and surrounding multi-platform game coverage at the All-Star break.  NBC Sports Chicago’s White Sox television ratings averaged a 1.18 Chicago market Household rating (HH) -- the highest White Sox average in five years (1.38 in 2014) and up 36% compared to last season at the break.  In addition, game telecasts delivered year-over-year growth in all key demographics, including Adults 18-34 (up 91%) and Adults 25-54 (up 34%), according to data provided by Nielsen.

The White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago averaged a 1.57 HH rating in June, which was the network’s highest-rated June in seven years (2.26 avg. in June 2012), and its highest-rated individual month in five years (April 2014 – 1.68 HH).

Additional highlights include:

  • On June 19, NBC Sports Chicago delivered its highest-rated White Sox game telecast in seven years, a 3.67 Chicago market HH rating at Cubs (3.78 HH rating posted on June 18, 2012). 
  • NBC Sports Chicago’s White Sox Pregame Live presented by Aurelio’s Pizza is up 50% compared to last season’s final average, while Subaru White Sox Postgame Live has registered a 30% ratings increase. 
  • On digital, NBCSportsChicago.com and the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app have driven significant live streaming audience growth compared to last season, with 3.1K uniques per game, up 93% vs. 2018 and 154K average minutes consumed per game, up 75% vs. 2018.
  • White Sox-specific content delivered 504K unique visitors, up 146%; 2.0M page views, up 211%; and 1.7M VOD starts, up 1,792%.
  • The “White Sox Talk” podcast set a new monthly download record in June (89,000), breaking the previous monthly record of 77,000 set in March. 
  • The podcast also hit a significant milestone in June, hitting ONE MILLION total downloads since its inception in October 2016.

The White Sox return to game action on NBC Sports Chicago this Friday night, July 12, as the southsiders travel out west for a weekend series against the Oakland Athletics.  Live coverage gets underway with White Sox Pregame Live presented by Aurelio’s Pizza at 8:30 PM CT with first pitch coverage set to take place at 9:00 PM, along with a complete game recap to follow on Subaru White Sox Postgame Live.  In addition, authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers can live stream every game and surrounding game coverage via NBCSportsChicago.com and the new “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app (fans located anywhere in the U.S. can download MyTeams for free on iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store).

The learning process continues for Dylan Cease, who just had 'my best start of the year'

The learning process continues for Dylan Cease, who just had 'my best start of the year'

Dylan Cease's ERA is still north of 5.75.

He's not a finished product, no matter how much anyone wants him to be one.

"It would be ideal for me — and my ability to sleep — and everyone’s mood if these guys came up and dominated immediately," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday. "In reality there is a little bit of a learning process that goes on."

All these results, the ones that have contributed to that ugly ERA and some generally ugly outings over Cease's first couple months in the major leagues, are learning moments. Not convinced on the effectiveness of those learning moments? Just look to Lucas Giolito, who took all the struggles he had in 2018 and turned them into an All-Star 2019 season in which he's blossomed into the ace of the staff.

But, despite the hype, these guys aren't coming up finished products.

Cease, though, has flashed the potential that has earned him all that hype, and in no outing did he flash more of it than he did in Friday night's start against the visiting Texas Rangers.

Following the theme that seems to be developing in Cease starts, he had a pretty lousy inning early in the game, in this case the very first inning, in which he served up a three-run homer. The theme continues, though, that Cease usually uses all that composure and maturity everyone's always raving about to settle down and pitch a decent game. Friday night, he was more than decent. After the first inning, Cease retired the next 11 batters he faced and allowed just two hits (both singles) over five scoreless innings.

Cease, following in the tradition of perfectionist pitchers everywhere, hasn't been happy with previous outings that followed a similar script. This time, he was pleased. Maybe something to do with the career-best nine strikeouts.

"To me, that was just a huge confidence boost right there. Now I just need to not let those big innings happen," Cease said. "That's definitely my best start of the year today, besides that first inning."

"You had a couple of things going on," manager Rick Renteria said. "He had a rough first, we scored some runs, he holds them. We scored some more runs, he holds them. He kept doing that throughout. It's a big push. You see, there's a confidence-builder in that particular outing today. He should be happy how he ended up redirecting himself and righting the ship."

Cease's ability to do just that, right the ship, might give him a bit of a head start on his developmental process at the major league level. After all, Giolito and James McCann talk frequently about that issue plaguing Giolito in 2018. When things went wrong early, Giolito couldn't get back on track. He's been able to this year, contributing to his success. If Cease can do that from the day he hits the majors, that's a plus.

And if that's a tool Cease already has in his tool box, then the next step would be eliminating those early troubles. As good as Cease has looked at times, those numbers aren't lying. He's given up 32 earned runs in his 50 big league innings. He's given up 11 home runs in nine starts and has yet to have an outing without allowing a homer. Walks have been a sporadic issue: He walked just one batter in each of his last two starts but walked five in the outing prior and has three starts this year with at least four walks.

Again, learning process.

"His stuff is — it's electric stuff," Renteria said. "Sometimes you wonder, 'How can they hit him?' or 'How can they do this?' It's just (that they are) big league hitters. You leave something out over the plate or something they can manage, and they're going to do what they can do with it.

"As long as he continues to execute and use that stuff that he has, he's going to be OK."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: It's Elvis night on the South Side


Baseball Night in Chicago Podcast: It's Elvis night on the South Side

Scott Podsednik and David DeJesus join Leila Rahimi on Baseball Night in Chicago to discuss all things baseball.

They talk Yoan Moncada's comeback, Eloy Jiménez's injury, the Cubs' continuing bullpen struggles and more.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: