News & Notes:
– The Chicago Cubs may start its own television network if the team is sold, according to an article in today’s Chicago Tribune. The model would be the New York Yankees successful YES network, and the Cubs are looking to maximize revenues.
Current owner Tribune has a 25 percent in Comcast SportsNet, and the Cubs are contracted there until 2019. However, the team’s ties to WGN could be a stumbling block.
This story was first reported a few weeks ago on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast.
– NBC Universal may sell its affiliate, WTVJ-TV to Post-Newsweek – which also owns ABC affiliate WPLG-TV. While a duopoly in a major market between a NBC and ABC affiliate is unusual, in Miami it could happen because WPLG is ranked first overall while WTVJ is ranked sixth. The FCC allows duopolies, but not among the top four station in a market. WTVJ is on a frequency (Channel 6) that’s long been plaqued with signal problems for over-the-air viewers.
– Guess there’s going to be less local perspective on Farve Watch: NBC affiliate WGBA-TV in Green Bay has canceled a huge number of newscasts and cut several positions. The Journal Broadcasting-owned station has dropped its morning and midday newscasts and instead, inserted Milwaukee newscasts and a local show from sister station WTMJ-TV. WGBA continues to produce news at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
WGBA generally ranks fourth among Green Bay television stations. WGBA became an NBC station in 1995, when former affiliate WLUK was sold and its affiliation was switched to Fox. NBC was affiliated with WFRV-TV until 1983 until the station switched to ABC (WFRV is now a CBS affiliate.)
– Stop! Cable time: TNT’s season premiere of The Closer drew 7.8 million viewers on Monday, outdrawing ESPN’s Home Run Derby, which drew 6.1 million (how about that Josh Hamilton?) Closer drew 3.3 million in adults 25-54 and 2.5 million in adults 18-49.
The season premiere of Saving Grace drew 5.1 million afterward,up from the season average of 4.2 million a year ago.