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Cubs TV Ratings Down In 2010

Ed Sherman, writing in Crain’s Chicago Business, notes that, not surprisingly, the Cubs’ TV ratings have taken a huge drop this year:

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Ratings on Comcast SportsNet for the season through June 30 were down almost 40% from last year — the biggest slide among all 30 Major League Baseball teams, according to a compilation of ratings data published in SportsBusiness Journal.

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An average of 94,877 households tuned in to each of Comcast’s 33 Cubs games in the first three months of the season. Although that’s the ninth-highest rating in the league, it’s still 39% lower than the same period last season, according to the publication, which relied on data from Nielsen Media Research.

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This should come as no surprise to anyone; when a team isn’t doing well, interest in watching it play drops.

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Where this may have an impact on the Cubs’ future is in next year’s ad rates — the ratings for this year may have an effect on the prices that the Cubs can charge for advertising in 2011, whether on WGN, CSN Chicago or WCIU, although the Sherman article only refers to ratings for CSN games. The Cubs will televise a total of 80 games on CSN this year, 62 on WGN and eight on WCIU. The remaining 12 are split between Fox-TV and ESPN for regional or national broadcast.