Deal with WGN sends selected Cubs and White Sox games to former CBS affiliate; nine other Midwestern markets also cleared
In order to fill a programming void left by CBS, a local Indianapolis TV station is turning to two Chicago institutions.
Media General-owned WISH-TV announced Friday it was planning to air a package of Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox games produced by WGN Sports, starting next month. Several games are also popping up on its sister station, My Network TV affiliate WNDY.
Traditionally known as a basketball hotbed (and later a football hotbed thanks to the success of the Colts), Central Indiana also have a significant amount of baseball fans, notably of the Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds, who play two hours away right down Interstate 74.
When Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT carried Reds games, then-Indianapolis sister station WLWI (now WTHR), also carried them.
The move to syndicate Chicago baseball games to nearby markets comes as WGN America pulled the plug last year on Cubs and White Sox baseball and Bulls basketball on the former Superstation, meaning the end of nationwide coverage. In addition to Media General’s duopoly in Indianapolis, WGN has cleared the baseball package in Des Moines (Cubs games only); Champaign-Springfield-Decatur; Cedar Rapids-Waterloo; South Bend-Elkhart; Quad Cities; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Peoria-Bloomington, Ill.; Rockford; and Quincy, Ill.
24 Chicago Cubs games being produced by ABC-owned WLS-TV are not part of this package.
Meanwhile, WISH continues to fill the void left by the departure of CBS for WTTV on January 1. Since then, the station has added CW programming in prime-time, added more syndicated shows, and expanded its news operation to fill more hours.
To see the Indianapolis schedule for Cubs and White Sox games, click here.