Local media prepares as Cubs head to the World Series

This is not a misprint. This actually happened! (CBSChicago.com)
This is not a misprint. This actually happened! (CBSChicago.com)

Media outlets in Chicago, Cleveland expect major windfall – including stations carrying games

Batten down the hatches, Chicagoans – the Cubs have did something they haven’t done in 71 years – make the World Series.

Beginning tonight, the former lovable losers (now the lovable winners) will play Game 1 against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field in the Fall Classic, televised nationally by Fox. The Cubs are looking for their first World Series title since 1908; the Indians are looking for their first title since 1948.

On Saturday night, the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 5-0 shut out, winning the National League Championship Series four games to two to advance to the World Series.

According to Nielsen ratings, the Cubs-Dodgers game Saturday night drew a 25.8 live-plus-same day rating and 46 household share – the highest ever for FS1 in the Chicago market. Nationally, the game drew 9.8 million viewers and a 6.3 overnight household rating – the largest audience for a NLCS in six years. In Chicago, the rating was up seven percent from Thursday’s game.

Cubs celebrte NL Pennant victory at Wrigley Field. (Chicago Tribune)
Cubs celebrte NL Pennant victory at Wrigley Field. (Chicago Tribune)

As noted on this site a few days ago, Fox-owned WFLD in Chicago and Tribune-owned Fox affiliate WJW in Cleveland will see a huge windfall from the series. Political advertisers are also winners because they now get their message in front of the largest audience possible outside of the Super Bowl – vital especially in a battleground state like Ohio, where Cleveland is located (and…I know, bad news for the rest of us.)

And don’t forget, Fox will heavily promote its prime-time lineup – in other words, expect to see lots of promos for Pitch, a drama about the first female African-American pitcher in the major leagues.

And as while WFLD and WJW – and respective radio rights holders WSCR-AM and WTAM will see increased benefits, other media outlets in both cities will do so as well. Local stations are looking for increased viewership and listenership (and revenue) as fans are looking for everything Cubs or Indians.

In Chicago, local media outlets are sending reporters and anchors to Cleveland to cover the first two games and games six and seven, if necessary. Chicago stations will be sending out reporters to the city’s nightlife districts on Rush Street and near Wrigley Field , so look for plenty of fans go crazy in live shots.

WSCR and WMVP are also covering the big game with extended coverage. In fact, both stations will air the World Series – WSCR as Cubs’ rightsholder and WMVP as an ESPN-owned station as the four-letter network has exclusive national radio rights to air the game.

If it that weren’t enough – or if you’re looking for more of a national angle, MLB Network, ESPN’s SportsCenter, and FS1 will have plenty of coverage, before and after the game. In fact, MLB Network will have World Series coverage nearly around-the-clock.

So are you ready? I know I am.

Play ball! And Go Cubs!*

– Disclaimer: Yours truly is a White Sox fan, but doesn’t really hate the Cubs.