Blackhawks extend WGN carriage deal in Chicago
| 19 May 2014
The Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago's WGN-TV have announced a three-year extension of the station's television rights for the team.
WGN-TV has been one of the flagship stations for Blackhawks television broadcasts since the start of the 2008-09 season. Under the agreement, WGN-TV will broadcast 20 regular-season games each year on free, over-the-air television. Though the current agreement wasn't set to expire for another two years, the extension keeps Blackhawks hockey on the station through the conclusion of the 2018-19 NHL season.
"WGN-TV is synonymous with Chicago and is the perfect partner to continue to help serve our expanding fan base," said Blackhawks president and CEO, John McDonough. "From Lloyd Pettit to Pat Foley, WGN-TV has been a highly valued member of the Blackhawks family."
Ratings for the team's games on WGN-TV are up more than 200% since 2008 and have increased every year during that time, according to Nielsen. The Blackhawks' 5 January game against San Jose set a hockey ratings record for the station, with more than 275,000 households in Chicagoland watching.
"The Blackhawks leadership is best in class and we are extremely happy and proud to bring the team's games to the greatest sports fans in the country," said Larry Wert, president of WGN owner Tribune Broadcasting. "Serving our viewers and advertisers with great sports programming is part of our mission and heritage. The Chicago Blackhawks franchise and fan base has never been stronger and we expect the team's popularity to continue growing."
WGN-TV is Chicago's CW network affiliate, and programs for WGN America on cable, telco and satellite throughout the US and Canada