Tribune-owned WGN-TV has been the home of Chicago Cubs baseball since 1948 – and their exposure through the former WGN Superstation helped expose the team to a nationwide audience.
So it is appropriate that WGN would be the station most viewers turned to for their historic World Series parade.
According to TVSpy, WGN-TV led all stations in the Chicago market last Friday with a 5.3 household rating and a 2.5 rating in the key news/sports demo of adults 25-54. The period covers from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
In addition, WGN’s coverage was also carried by CLTV, WGN America, and MLB Network.
Following WGN was the market’s news leader, WLS-TV, who finished second with a 5.0 rating and tied for third among adults 25-54 with a 1.3.
But who came in second is a surprise: Fox-owned WFLD-TV, who finished ahead of its competitors in the adults 25-54 with a 1.8 rating and a 3.5 rating in households. The station – who aired the historic game giving the Cubs its first World Series title since 1908 – got good sampling from viewers.
Among the also-rans, NBC-owned WMAQ tied WLS in the 25-54 demo, and finished fourth in households. Bringing up the rear is CBS-owned WBBM-TV, finishing with 1.9 households rating and 0.6 in 25-54s – placing fifth in both categories.
CSN Chicago also carried the parade; the regional sports network earned a 1.0 household rating (25-54 numbers were not available.)
Ratings seem to depressed because a large contingent of potential viewers were either at work (yeah, right) or at the parade itself. Estimates pegged the crowd at nearly five million – making it the most-attended Chicago sports victory parade ever.
In terms of parade coverage, many alluded to WGN’s as the best – particularly during the parade itself as the anchors shushed and “let the pictures do the talking”, especially when the Cubs rounded through North Michigan Avenue through the Loop, with the crowd cheering them on. It was tremendous.
On the other hand – and as expected – there were the usual complaints. Many took umbridge with anchors talking over the festivities: despite many ranking WGN’s coverage as the best, a lot of people complained about anchor Micah Materre’s constant yammering (yours truly’s pet peeve was the useless amount of political advertising on all the stations except CSN – whose telecast was quite entertaining.)
Anyone expecting a high-quality network-caliber broadcast of the Cubs parade – and that’s any station in this market – were likely to be disappointed – despite the fact all of the local stations (but WGN) covering the parade are owned by the major broadcast networks. For those watching on TV from home, Cubs fans deserved a whole lot better than what they received.