Chicago’s baseball teams did better on the tube than on the field

While Chicago’ baseball teams did not have a successful season on the field, they had some success on the tube.

Sports Business Journal ranked the 2009 regular season of thirty teams, and the Chicago Cubs finished ninth among regional sports networks, with a 4.1 household rating – but this number was down 16% from 2008 numbers. Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox finished a lowly 28th among RSNs with a 2.2 household rating,  but was up 8% from last year.

Both Cubs and White Sox games air on Comcast SportsNet. Ratings from WGN-TV and WCIU-TV were not available, as this story did not report on over-the-air broadcast stations’ ratings.

While results of Chicago’s teams were decidely mixed, both teams did better than both Los Angeles teams – Dodgers’ telecasts finished 29th for Prime Ticket, while the Angels finished 30th for FSN West (Both FSN West and Prime are owned by News Corp.) The Dodgers and Angels are both in the League Championship Series.

Also, both the Cubs and White Sox outperformed most first-run syndicated fare in the Chicago market.

As for the rest of the list, the Boston Red Sox on NESN finished first with a 9.5 household rating, followed by the Cardinals on FSN Midwest with a 8.0, and the Phillies on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia with a 7.1. The New York Yankees came in tenth with a 4.7 rating on its YES network.

Finishing dead last (which is quite typical for this team in anything it does) were the Washington Nationals, with a measly 0.6 rating on the barely-distributed MASN network.

Two teams – the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves – were carried on two regional sports networks and ranked twice on the chart. The Toronto Blue Jays’ regional carrier (Rogers SportsNet) was not included.

As for national telecasts, most were down from a year ago as Fox and ESPN suffered rating declines, thanks to a lack of drama in this year’s pennant races.

But if there is a winner in all of this – it’s TBS. Not only the basic cable net showed an small ratings increase for its weekly Sunday afternoon game – but also scored huge increases for its coverage of the Divisional Playoff Series.

TBS is carrying the National League Championship Series this year as the Los Angeles Dodgers face off against the Philadelphia Phillies in a rematch of last year’s NLCS, which bombed on Fox. Speaking of Fox, they will carry the New York Yankees-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ALCS series starting on Friday.