CSN delivers its highest-ever Blackhawks regular season game rating to date

CSN delivers its highest-ever Blackhawks regular season game rating to date

COMCAST SPORTSNET DELIVERS ITS HIGHEST CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS REGULAR SEASON GAME RATING TO DATE

Last Nights Blackhawks Home Opener vs. STL attracts over 188,000 Households on Comcast SportsNet;
1 Highest-Rated Television Network in Chicago market from 7:30-10:15 PM for Adults 25-54

Chicago, IL (January 23, 2013) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, delivered its highest Blackhawks regular season rating ever last evening (January 22) -- a 5.40 household rating for its live coverage of the Blackhawks home opener against the division rival St. Louis Blues.

For last nights thrilling 3-2 victory by the Blackhawks, Comcast SportsNet attracted approx. 188,179 households for the entire game and posted a 6.28 peak rating during the 10:00 PM quarter-hour (218,845 households). The 5.40 single game regular season ratings record on Comcast SportsNet shatters the previous record set on March 5, 2010 vs. Vancouver (4.35). Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research overnights.

Comcast SportsNet was also the 1-highest rated television network in the Chicago market last night in all key advertising demos -- including Adults 25-54 -- for the entire length of the game (7:30-10:15 PM). The network was also 1 in the market for six-straight hours (5:30-11:30 PM) in the following demo categories: Men 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 25-54 and Adults 18-34.

In addition, via data obtained through CSNChicago.coms social media hub Blackhawks Pulse, last nights Blackhawks-Blues match-up garnered a solid 38,400 game-related tweets, highlighting the growing movement of in-game social media engagement with fans.

So far this season through two games, the Blackhawks on Comcast SportsNet are currently averaging a 4.26 household rating, an increase of 75 compared to last season through two telecasts, while, in the demo category of Adults 25-54, ratings are up 46. Comcast SportsNets next Blackhawks telecast airs TOMORROW NIGHT (Thursday, January 24) as the Blackhawks travel to face the Dallas Stars (live coverage begins at 7:00 PM with Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live; face-off set for 7:30 PM). Viewers can also visit CSNChicago.com 247 for the very latest Blackhawks news, highlights, game previewsrecaps & blogs from Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers, along with exclusive videos and much more.

Not enough injury woes? Bears now losing players to rampant stomach virus

Not enough injury woes? Bears now losing players to rampant stomach virus

John Fox could be excused for wondering if someone somewhere is sticking voodoo pins in a Bears doll. If it weren’t for bad luck, the 2016 Bears might have no luck at all. And now things have gotten worse, not better.

The Bears coach has overseen the M*A*S*H unit working to look like an NFL team while dealing with a sick bay situation that some days has made it seem easier to list the Bears who ARE practicing rather than the ones who aren’t.

Besides the injury tsunami that has beset them, the Bears this week are dealing with a flu/stomach virus that has hit as many as a dozen players, some more severely than others, and had one Bears higher-up facetiously (or maybe not) reaching for the Walter Payton Center door handle with his hand covered.

“We've got about six illnesses,” Fox said Wednesday, a list that included rookie cornerback Deiondre’ Hall, right tackle Bobby Massie and fullback Darrel Young for the first time.

Not all of practice was a study of absenteeism. Kicker Robbie Gould capped off Wednesday’s indoor session with a 57-yard field goal, consistent with his standing as one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.

Gould has converted a respectable 83.2 percent of attempts in the wind tunnel known as Soldier Field. He has converted 90 percent of his kicks in NFL stadiums with either a dome or retractable roof.

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Tight end Zach Miller and wide receiver Eddie Royal practiced again on Wednesday wearing don’t-hit-me red jerseys throughout practice, emblematic of their return from preseason concussions. They represent critical elements in the Bears’ passing offense, with Royal signed to put in place a steady veteran for three-receiver packages.

“We’re at a point now where we’re like, 'hey, we’ve got some time here with you guys; let’s get you guys back to 100 percent,’” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “We know what they can do on the field. It’s just a matter of us getting into game week and getting them back in the flow.”

How did Royal look coming back from his missed time? “Fresh,” Cutler said, smiling. “As he should be.”

Notre Dame announces four captains for 2016 season

Notre Dame announces four captains for 2016 season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame announced four team captains for the 2016 season: Senior defensive end Isaac Rochell, redshirt junior left tackle Mike McGlinchey, redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. and senior linebacker James Onwualu. 

Rochell, a native of McDonough, Ga., has 15 tackles for a loss and three and a half sacks in his Irish career. The former four-star recruit has developed into a vocal leader on an Irish defense that was hit hard by the departures of Sheldon Day, Joe Schmidt, Jaylon Smith and Matthias Farley from last season. 

McGlinchey will enter his second full season starting on Notre Dame’s offensive line after being flipped from right tackle to replace Ronnie Stanley at left tackle this offseason. The Philadelphia native has 27 career starts to his name and has earned some speculation he could be a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. 

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Hunter, the son of former MLB All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter, has 35 career catches but is Notre Dame's leading returning receiver this fall. Coaches praised Hunter for how quickly he took on a leadership role in the Irish offense after the departures of prolific receivers Will Fuller and Chris Brown last season. 

Onwualu, a four-star recruit who initially played wide receiver his freshman year, was converted to Sam (outside) linebacker in 2014 and has been a steady presence there ever since. The Saint Paul, Minn. native had six tackles for a loss and three sacks last season.

Kyle Hendricks keeps rolling as Cubs sweep away Padres

Kyle Hendricks keeps rolling as Cubs sweep away Padres

SAN DIEGO — Kyle Hendricks reported to spring training as a fifth starter, leads the majors in ERA in late August and could pitch Game 1 in a playoff series.

That gradual evolution from possible question mark at the back of the rotation into a National League Cy Young Award candidate highlights how the Cubs have transformed from a team that won the offseason to one that owns the summer and maybe this fall.

In his own understated way, Hendricks smashed any perceptions of that ceiling, performing at a level and with a consistency that matches the franchise’s young hitting stars, mirroring their baseball IQ and grounded nature (without the billboards and flair for social media).

Hendricks kept rolling on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park, knocking the San Diego Padres off-balance and finishing a three-game sweep with a 6-3 victory in front of 30,033. The Dartmouth College graduate with an Ivy League degree in economics understands what he’s up against and knows what he’s doing.

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The Padres (53-74) looked a little checked out and didn’t really put any pressure on a Cubs team that should get an adrenaline boost this weekend at Dodger Stadium. Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant opened the game with back-to-back doubles before Ben Zobrist lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap. Within six minutes of Paul Clemens’ first pitch, Jorge Soler’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

Hendricks hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 17, a run of 17 straight outings that has sliced his ERA from 3.51 to 2.19 and pushed his record to 12-7.

Hendricks hides his emotions on the mound and didn’t get flustered when the Padres put the leadoff man on base in each of the first four innings, working around the traffic to limit San Diego to two runs and finish with eight strikeouts.

Hendricks made it through six innings — he’s now gone at least five in each of his 24 starts this year — after beginning the day with a soft-hit rate (26 percent of batted balls) that led the majors on FanGraphs and would be the highest mark in the last five seasons.

Add all this up and the Cubs will be putting Hendricks front and center in October.