Necessary preamble: with a series of disjointed television broadcast contracts set to expire after the 2019, the Chicago Cubs are presently engaged in the lengthy process of securing a new long-term broadcast rights deal, which will likely take them into another stratosphere financially for the next 15 to 30 years. You can and should read more on this exceedingly important topic, if you’re unfamiliar, here, here and here, for a starter.
Being that the TV deal is of such paramount financial importance, and being that potential TV partners will want to know that the huge sums of money they commit to secure those rights will net them some actual eyeballs, the ratings on Cubs broadcasts this year are a rather big deal. And, so far, the story has been a very good one.
Sure enough, by the end of the year, it was all still excellent news.
On CSN, Cubs broadcast ratings were up 121(!) percent from last year. Per Forbes, and SBJ, the Cubs saw the largest local ratings increase in all of baseball(!)*. From the look of the chart on Forbes, only four teams – the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Cardinals – had more households watching per game in 2015.
The Cubs are popular.
*(Except the Astros, but that’s because they actually got some carriage this year, so they increased from, like, no homes to some homes.)