In the tug of war between baseball and news at WLS-Channel 7, baseball just won.
The second game of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds will air on the ABC-owned station starting at 5 p.m., bumping the top-rated 5 and 6 p.m. local newscasts as well as “ABC World News Tonight” at 5:30 p.m.
Viewers looking for news at those times will be directed to the station’s digital and over-the-air Channel 7.2 or to its website. News also will be on Comcast Channel 217, RCN Channel 618, Charter Channels 608 or 196, and Mediacom Channels 723 or 102.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When ABC 7 announced its 24-game schedule of Cubs broadcasts for the first year of its four-year deal, Wednesday was to have been a single game at 11 a.m. But when the Cubs’ April 25 game at Cincinnati was postponed because of rain, it was rescheduled to July 22 as part of a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park.
Asked whether a baseball broadcast has ever bumped the station’s local and network news on a weekday, an ABC 7 spokeswoman stopped short of calling it unprecedented. “Most likely we’ve preempted our newscasts for live events in the past,” she said.