With a long-term televisions rights contract to be explored in the coming years, ratings for Chicago Cubs games in 2015 are going to be very important, especially given the decline they’ve seen during the rebuilding process (though there were positive signals late last year).
Against that backdrop, some good news: the Cubs’ opener against the St. Louis Cardinals was a huge TV hit
At a local level, Paul Sullivan reports that the ESPN2 Cubs/Cardinals game was being watched in upwards of five times as many households as the average CSN game in 2014. In theory, CSN is as available locally on cable as ESPN2, so it’s a somewhat fair comparison.
But if you need another comparison to demonstrate how attractive the Cubs/Cardinals matchup was:
ESPN says 3.354 million viewers watched Cardinals-Cubs opener on Sunday night, up big from last year's Dodgers-Padres (1.614M) opener.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 6, 2015
So, clearly it wasn’t just the “Opening Night” allure that drew folks to watch, and it’s not like the Dodgers aren’t popular.
All in all, the opener, from a ratings perspective, was probably a nice win for the Cubs … even if the game, you know, wasn’t.