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Monday night’s NCAA College Basketball Championship between Michigan State and North Carolina turned out to be the lowest-rated of all time (how often have you heard that phrase?)
But what we are mad for now is baseball.
The game, in which North Carolina blew out Michigan State drew only a 10.8 household rating and an 18 share, according to Nielsen, drawing just 17.6 viewers overall.
As far as Chicago viewers are concerned, they shifted their interest to baseball – particularly the Cubs. Monday night’s Cubs-Astros season opener was the averaged a 8.1 household rating from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a peak of 10.4 at 7:45 p.m.
The game beat everything in the key adult 25-54 demo, including the NCAA basketball game and Dancing With the Stars.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s delayed opener between the Royals and the White Sox did well for CSN, averaging a 3.2 household rating from 1 to 4 p.m. – respectively good for the time period given the lower homes-using-television levels in this daypart.
After seeing the ratings for the Cubs-Astros season opener on Monday night and the White Sox-Royals ratings for the season opener on Tuesday afternoon, I wonder how WGN-TV Channel 9 now feels about having the CW on its schedule. Not too long ago, it could have been Channel 9 having those baseball game prime-time ratings instead of “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill.” I really do not understand what money the CW brings in for WGN-TV. No doubt Channel 9 would benefit greatly if it took back its “real estate” of time periods from the CW and started to program them on their own. If Channel 9 is included in Tribune’s purchase of the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” repeats for this fall, I truly believe having those repeats in prime time weeknights would draw better ratings for WGN-TV than the CW (and, I’m not even a ‘Trekkie.’) I am also wondering what Channel 9 will use to replace “The Steve Wilkos Show,” which is moving to WCIU-TV Channel 26 in the fall. Is it possible Channel 9 is going to expand the “WGN Evening News” to a full hour and move “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” to weekdays at 2 p.m.? Just a thought. Next, Channel 9 has to get rid of that dreadful “Maury Povich” talk show, which is on twice a day on WGN and is a close runner-up to “The Jerry Springer Show” for the quality of its topics and guests.
And to add, many CW programs have been in reruns since January. Not exactly a great way to build an audience.
There is an interesting press release on Channel 9’s website about how highly rated the Cubs opener was on Channel 9 Tuesday night, higher than on Comcast Sports. I believe it said it was WGN-TV’s highest April rating in 5 years, if I remember correctly. That has to make them seriously think twice about the CW and about those Cubs, White Sox and Bulls games they (WGN) farms out to WCIU-TV Channel 26, when those games could be aired on Channel 9 instead, but there are only so many CW network pre-emptions allowed from what I heard.
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