Jackie Robinson West Little League team packing Chicago viewers in

Jackie Robinson West Little League Team. (Sun-Gazette)
Jackie Robinson West Little League Team. (Sun-Gazette)

Jackie Robinson West run to title sets ratings records

Little League Squad outdraws both Cubs and White Sox combined in the ratings 

Aside from the Chicago Blackhawks winning two Stanley Cups, the last few years have been an absolute nightmare for the Windy City on the national stage, with idiot pundits taking shots at our murder rate, quality of living, and even pizza.

But there is a local baseball team who are two wins away from a World Series Championship.

What, you thought I was talking about the Cubs and White Sox?

Yours truly is talking about the Jackie Robinson West Little League Squad, whose run to the World Series title is capturing the hearts of Chicago fans – and TV viewers. The all African-American team from Chicago’s South Side have a shot to win it all and as of this writing, are two wins away. It is the first time in 31 years a team from the Chicago area is in the Little League World Series.

Thursday night’s game between JRW and the team from Philadelphia won its time period in Chicago – earning a 7.6 household rating on ESPN, up 105 percent from Monday night’s 3.7, where it placed third behind CBS’ Under The Dome and ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise, and ahead of the Cleveland-Washington NFL Preseason game, which had a 3.0.

To no one’s surprise by now, JRW is outdrawing Chicago’s two sorry Major League Baseball teams.

Monday’s Little League game on ESPN 2 held a whopping 428 percent ratings advantage over the Orioles-White Sox airing at the same time on CSN Comcast, which earned a 0.7 household rating locally – which may be a historic low for any primetime White Sox game on any channel.

Both the Cubs and White Sox have the worst ratings in Major League Baseball this season as losses continue to pile up. Among teams whose reach is above 70 percent in their home market (which excludes the Dodgers and Astros due to channel carriage disputes), both teams rank in the Nielsen basement with the Cubs 26th and the White Sox dead last at 27th. The JRW squad has outranked both of them, by far.

Meanwhile, national ratings for the Little League World Series haven’t been too shabby: Wednesday’s game between Las Vegas and Philly drew a 3.1 household rating and close to five million viewers for ESPN, marking the largest audience for a Little League game since 2007.

The Jackie Robinson West squad will now take on the Las Vegas this Saturday afternoon for the U.S. Championship, which is sure to be a ratings bonanza for ABC and for WLS-TV locally. If they win, then they’ll go for the World Championship on Sunday.