The days of the Chicago Cubs, and other sports programming, appearing on WGN America appear to be numbered.
According to Chain’s Chicago Business, Tribune CEO Peter Liguori is in the process of converting WGN America, the company’s national broadcast channel, from a superstation into a basic cable channel, which will require dumping Cubs, Bulls, and White Sox game broadcasts.
“If the Cubs continue on this path to virtual irrelevancy, it’s really not going to matter,” Liguori said at a recent New York media conference. “When you look at the Bulls, the White Sox, the Cubs and the Blackhawks, outside of the greater Chicago (designated market area), they really do lose their attraction.”
Advertising income from that sports programming contributes just $250,000 to the station’s income, Liguori said.
Diehard fans of the Cubs, and other Chicago sports teams, likely will be need to buy an out-of-market sports package to follow their teams on a regular basis.
CBS has named Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts its No. 2 NFL broadcast team for the upcoming season. Reporter Tracy Wolfson joins Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the No. 1 team. Greg Gumbel will team with newcomer Trent Green, a former NFL quarterback. Other pairings include Kevin Harlan with Rich Gannon, Spero Dedes with Solomon Wilcots, and Andrew Catalon forming a three-man booth with Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein.
HBO will replay Miguel Cotto’s middleweight title victory over the Sergio Martinez as part of its fight card at 9 p.m. Saturday. The main bout will be the world junior welterweight title fight between Ruslan Provodnikov and Chris Algieri.
Through three games, ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals is up 5 percent in viewership (14.9 million viewers) and ratings (9.0) from last year.
ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup includes all 64 matches televised live on either ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes-plus.